A Midsummer Night's Dream
“This is a very, very funny Midsummer. The famous mechanicals (a group of workmen preparing to put on a play for the Duke’s wedding) are a hoot. Director Robert Currier allows his actors to play fast and loose with Shakespeare’s language, dropping occasional contemporary references with good effect, while not overdoing it. Jarion Monroe’s bossy buck-toothed Bottom is particularly hilarious. Quince, the organizer of the revel, is amusingly played by Stephen Muterspaugh as a misplaced New Yorker, apparently having wandered in from a Woody Allen film. It’s funny.
Don’t worry, though, that in all this slapstick the magic will be lost. The fairies’ lullaby, performed as a hula dance with a Polynesian melody is quite enchanting. And the gorgeous language is treated with respect throughout, even amidst all the slapstick.
And this is definitely a slapstick production, with plenty of mugging, shoving and loving. The fight among the lovers, deteriorating into a Jerry Springer style free-for-all wrestling match is a howler. As is the comic centerpiece of the play, the play-within-a-play by the mechanicals. Watch for Alexander Lenarsky’s exuberant Flute!
This is refreshingly ridiculous Shakespeare, as ephemeral as a luau on the beach beneath a meteor shower from the summer you first fell in love. And almost as sweet.”
- Charles Kruger