|the performance space (photo: @cherryandspoon Instagram)|
Directed by Joe Wiener, everyone in the cast is playful and expressive, making the Shakespearean language sound natural. Kyle Marks is a charmingly impish Puck, guiding us through the story, with a funny runner about "writing" a poem called "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day." Theater's most well-known love quadrangle is well played by Samantha Fairchild, Dominic Rodgers, Dietrich Poppen, and Samantha V. Papke, who also double as members of the theater troupe rehearsing a ridiculous melodrama. The troupe is led by Alan Tilson's Peter Quince and features Jacob Hooper's Nick Bottom, actor and character making the most of every moment, even (or especially) when hidden by a donkey's head. Tom Conry and Clare Boyd play both the stern Duke and his reluctant wife, and the devilish and constantly sparring King and Queen of the Fairies (played by Bridget Foy, Tyler Stamm, and Maren Findlay).
The show makes great use of pop songs sprinkled through the show, as well as a pre-show concert. Joining the cast are an assortment of animal puppets who pop out and add their voices in an unexpectedly adorable way. The costumes (designed by Lolly Foy) are a colorful mix of Elizabethan-inspired, modern, and flowy fairy garb that suit each character. The four lovers' tidy outfits (Lysander's nerdy argyle sweater vest in contrast to Demetrius' crisp military uniform) become more and more messy throughout their night in the woods, which features some fun and active fight choreography.
Performances continue at 7pm Thursday through Sunday through July 18. Click here for the full schedule, where you can also register (performances are free with no check-in, but just to make sure there's space for everyone). Bring a blanket or chair to sit on, a snack, sunscreen, bug spray, water, and enjoy Shakespeare the way it was mean to be seen (as I've written before) - "playful, earthy, accessible, immediate, and fun."
|the cast of Midsummer (photo by Travis Voels)|