Thursday, March 25, 2004

life is but a dream

I should write about things I haven't so thoroughly enjoyed but I end up only including the things I really like on here. So lest, yes "lest" you think that I enjoy everything I see, hear, I say in the most snobbish register I have, a voice dripping with intellect and/or money... I am not so simply satisfied. If for some reason you are reading this and are in the ny-metro area, spend $25 and go see A Midsummer Night's Dream at the most excellent BAM Harvey Theater. (Production by Propeller and Watermill Theater, Directed by Edward Hall.) Catch it before it leaves after March 28th!

Why see it? It's one of the most enjoyably funny, multi-faceted, interesting and well-acted productions I've seen of this play and is among the top of my list of many plays I've seen this semester. You can run into this one many times during your life... High school english, school plays, that movie with Michelle Pfeiffer and Calista Flockhart and the bicycles ... Spend some time in London or Oxford and you become paranoid that certain Shakespeare plays are stalking you, and this is one of them.

The troupe is all-male and this not only harkens back to the Shakespearean tradition, it somehow adds an interesting dimension, and I'm not exactly referring to homo-eroticism here, to issues of gender, power, control, and of course love itself. Yes, I like to string a bunch of large terms together and not comment further on them.

My favorite character was Puck, most superficially cuz I kinda liked his outfit. Hee. Striped socks and a tutu? Can only be fun. But I was surprised cuz I never liked Puck as a character before, in productions or reading of the text. Among the superb slapstick, there are moments where he as well as the other characters gleam through the apparent fluffiness of the antics to the darker, more disturbing as well as the more tender, human moments.

During intermission, we were treated to some 'half time' entertainment by the charmingly rogue-ish British cast, singing songs like "dreams" and "i'm a believer" rollickingly and then entreated us to donate $ to The 52nd Street Project , a non-profit org that apparently has something similar in London, that matches kids with professional theater artists for mentoring and producing their own works.

The glowing NYT review which of course surpasses my idlish vague attempt at description.

Interviews with directors of Shakespeare plays in NY: Jonathan Miller (King Lear), Edward Hall (A Midsummer Night's Dream), and Bartlett Sher (Pericles).

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