Sunday, August 13, 2023

Minnesota Fringe Festival 2023: "Breakneck Midsummer Night’s Dream"


Show: 31


By: Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre

Created by: Timothy Mooney

Location: Rarig Thrust

Summary: Just what it sounds like - 6 actors perform Shakespeare's most popular comedy in an hour or less.

Highlights: I've seen traveling Fringe artist Timothy Mooney a couple of times before, and typically he performs an entire Shakespeare play in an hour playing all of the characters himself. This time he's brought in 5 additional actors (Schmoo Cutlip, Cindy Sherden, and local artists Alison Anderson, Peter Buckholtz, and J Merrill Motz) to help with the feat of portraying some 20 characters in this normally 2-3 hour story. As usual, Timothy's adaptation gets right to the heart of the story, includes all of the well-known lines (e.g., "Lord ,what fools these mortals be"), and leaves me wondering what was cut out because the story seems so complete and thoroughly, if quickly, told (and makes me think Shakespeare should always be an hour long). The playful and energetic cast is all dressed in black (except for Cindy as Puck who missed the memo, and instead wears a cute Tinkerbell costume as the impish Puck), and dons a vest or crown or epaulettes to signify a character change. At times they're changing characters within a scene, quickly stepping behind one of the half dozen or so trees that make up the forest. Part of the fun is watching them scurry from one character to the next. If you need a traditional but quick Shakespeare fix at the Fringe, there's no better place to get it than Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre.