A Midsummer Night's Dream
What the Critics Said:
“Though entertaining throughout, this production's most memorable moments occur in the second act's climactic scene, in which James Hiser's Puck, acting under orders by his Fairy King master (Scott Coopwood), tries to remedy the mischief caused by his previous errors.
Director Currier is known for his emphasis on physical movement by his actors. Here he outdoes himself as bodies—including Brandon Mears (Lysander), Evan Bartz (Demetrius), Luisa Frasconi (Helena) and, especially, the incredibly nimble Jessica Salans (Hermia) fly, tumble and fall in every direction….
No doubt purists will cheer that Shakespeare's text, minus some judicious cuts and the addition of a few very funny topical interjections, remains intact. For the rest of us, it gives this MSC production an amiable warmth that is quite welcome on a chilly summer evening in San Rafael.”
- Charles Brousse, Pacific Sun
“Artistic director Robert Currier sets his staging in present-day Hawaii, though the fairies are modeled after premodern tribal Polynesians. Mark Robinson's spacious but simple Tudor set for "King John" is bedecked with reed fences, seaweed curtains and two immense tiki gods with large and lurid sexual characteristics, built by sculptor Antonio Echeverria….
Currier takes a broad, scattershot approach with the humor, adding a lot of contemporary gags about cellphone reception and Siri and altered lines like, "Weeds of Old Navy he doth wear." His staging makes good use of the whole amphitheater, with chases going on around the audience and characters descending into it.
Scott Coopwood makes a strutting, macho Oberon….James Hiser is a very funny Puck….Jarion Monroe is hilariously hammy as Bottom…. Alexander Lenarsky is hysterically over the top as the panicky Flute…. It all culminates in a goofy dance to a Hawaiian-themed Spike Jones novelty tune.
The real action here is with the young lovers in prep school uniforms. Jessica Salans is a fierce Hermia, Brandon Mears an amusingly anguished beau as Lysander, and Evan Bartz a nicely smarmy, borderline date-rapey Demetrius. Luisa Frasconi makes a delightful Helena, hilariously awkward in her adolescent attempts to be seductive and priceless in squealing teen frustration. Her brutal cat fight with Hermia is not to be missed. “
- Sam Hurwitt, Marin I.J.