Barnaby Monk 5:30 a.m., Oct. 26
A Midsummer Night's Dream
In Christopher Ashley's staging, when the lovers flee Athens, the world turns upside-down. A piano dangles midair, and a chandelier rises from the floor. The lovers don't escape to a wood, they enter a Cirque du Soleil dreamscape. The director has encouraged near-constant movement, accompanied by a live orchestra playing Mendelssohn. But the activity often upstages the speakers. The real "juice" in Dream isn't Puck's love-concoction, it's the language. Few in the cast relish it (Jonathan McMurtry's tyrannical Egeus, Daniel Oreske's sometimes stiff Theseus/Oberon, and Charlayne Woodard's Hippolyta/Titania). Others treat it like utilitarian prose, especially Lucas Caleb Rooney as Bottom; he's deaf to verbal jokes ("I see a voice" should get a big laugh, for example). In the end, the rational Theseus says dreams and fantasies are just "airy nothing"; Hippolyta says they can "grow to something of great constancy." The playhouse's Dream, though visually stunning and often entertaining, aligns more with Theseus than Hippolyta.
Worth a try.
When: Ongoing until Sunday, August 22, 2010
- Sundays, 7pm
- Tuesdays, 7:30pm
- Wednesdays, 7:30pm
- Thursdays, 8pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 2pm & 8pm
- Theater Review: "Love's Errant Eyes" (Aug. 4, 2010)