A Midsummer Night's Dream
There's a duke, a queen, lots of fairies and some lost star-crossed lovers in a magical forest, plus a group of amateur actors putting on their first show. A wedding, enchantment, and lots of mistaken identity. Either this is a Medieval legend or Shakespeare.
The Bard's famous comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream" premieres at Trinity Repertory Company in a spirited and hilarious production. Set at an '80s high school prom, the setting sounds rather bizarre, but it works for the show rather than hinder it, complete with songs of the era, guitar riffs, dance routines and roller skates. In the school gymnasium, and in a magical forest, the show truly has something for everyone, even if you aren't a fan of Shakespeare.
Tyler Dobrowsky directs a stellar cast of company actors: Rachel Warren (Puck,) Timothy Crowe (Egeus/Snug/Lion,) Mauro Hantman (Theseus/Oberon,) Brian McEleney (Peter Quince/Prologue,) Phyllis Kay (Hippolyta/Titania,) plus Fred Sullivan, Jr. as Bottom/Pyramus. Warren delights in a Cyndi Lauper-esque outfit, on skates and belting songs. Kay and Hantman are fabulous as the Duke and Queen, especially during some excellent costume changes.
Some of the funniest moments come from our four star-crossed lovers, Rebecca Gibel, Daniel Duque-Estrada, and a very funny Gwen Kingston and Jude Sandy. McEleney is an absolute delight in his roles, and both Angela Brazil and Jeff Church stand out for this reviewer as some of the most hilarious portrayals. Sullivan continues his tradition of a classic funnyman in his interpretation of Bottom, and Crowe is excellent as usual. Kudos must be given to the costume designer (Olivera Gajic) and some really inspired lighting and sets.
Dobrowsky's choice to set the play in 1986 is inspired, plus there's a group of talented children playing our fairies, decked out in tutus and neon-colored wigs. This production is refreshing, hilarious and musically fun, with the touch of Shakespearean magic thrown in for good measure. A great choice to bring the whole family, or bring your friends, you'll be glad you did.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" runs through March 24 at Trinity Repertory Company, 201 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903. For information or tickets, call 401-351-4242 or visit www.trinityrep.com.