A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Also known as The Big dream, in contrast to the Chamber Dream!

This is the best version of a Midsummer Night’s Dream that I have seen. I loved it all. It was funny, and it was a celebration of love, in all the forms.

From the beginning at the gay wedding to the final exhortation by Puck, there was not a single moment that did not capture and engage. Jonathan Goad as Titania has to be seen to be believed. The blue gown and the huge biceps – what a combination. I can hardly wait to see it again, with Evan Buliung as Titania and Jonathan as Oberon.

Tara Rosling, Bethany Jillard, Lisa Repo Martell and Mike Shara are all fantastic as the four lovers. I remain convinced that Mike Shara is one f the best physics comedians in the country. (He and Stephen Ouimette are stiff competition for the top spot.)
The three women were all very strong. Lisa Repo Martell deserves special recognition for making Helena a likeable character. Too often she comes across as a whiny complainer!
I am a big fan of Tara and Bethany and see them as the stars of their generation.

This is a production full of gags and gimmicks, from simultaneous translation in ASL for Hermia’s father who is deaf, to light swords for the mechanicals,pie fights and water fights, to fairies and dancers, music and direct addresses to the audience. But somehow, every gag adds to the play; nothing distracts. I left thinking that this production was much more true to the original vision that Shakespeare had than any other I have seen. Men playing women’s roles, women playing men’s roles, charming children – it was all there and all delightful.

OK, it is clear that I loved the play. And now I have to admit that I am officially a Chris Abraham fan.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in Bethany Jillard, Buliung, Evan Buliung, Jonathan Goad, Lisa Ripo-Martell, Maev Beaty, Mike Sharra, Steven Ouimette, Stratford 2014, Tara Rosling. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Midsummer Night’s Dream

  1. keithhpotter says:

    I generally prefer clean productions of Shakespeare, the gimmicks are just for actors and directors who cannot handle the language.
    In this case, I’ll make an exception. The production was fun, the gimmicks and gags seemed appropriate and enhanced the play, rather than distracting from it. I think Shakespeare would have liked it. I certainly did.

    PS: In my opinion Evan Buliung was more successful as BOTH Titania and Oberon, despite Goad’s musculature – women are so shallow.

  2. keithhpotter says:

    I remarked on the Beaux’ Stratagem giving Mike Shara an opportunity to show off his comic chops, but this production also gave him a great opportunity, which he grabbed with both hands.

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