A Midsummer Night's Dream | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

A Midsummer Night's Dream 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, at ComedySportz. Taking the Summer of Love as her inspiration, adapter-director Steph DeWaegeneer has created a goofy flashback version of Shakespeare's sunniest comedy. In this family-oriented offering, tie-dyed fairy folk bestow literal flower power on mortal lovers, rubbing pansy juice on their slumbering eyelids. And by making Lysander an aimless lad competing with tennis-playing square Demetrius for the hand of Hermia, DeWaegeneer sets up a 60s-era conflict between countercultural and establishment values. Musical director Jeffrey L. Shivar provides an a cappella arrangement of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" for Titania's fairy retinue to sing when the queen and her human-turned-ass lover, Nick Bottom (a fine Paul Pierro), are sent to sleep. And cast members punctuate the set changes from staid Athens to the magical woods with Laugh-In-style groaners. ("Why can't Lysander pick up heavy things?" "Because he has a Hermia.")

DeWaegeneer's modern-English adaptation sacrifices some of the play's best speeches in a way that Gary Griffin's "Short Shakespeare" version for Chicago Shakespeare Theater last summer did not. But there's much to enjoy in this genial, colorful hour-long romp.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Kerry Reid

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Manic Mondays Frances Cocktail Lounge
November 20
Performing Arts
Spirits to Enforce Berry Memorial United Methodist Church
November 08

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories