A Midsummer Night's Dream | Chicago Shakespeare Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 7 2008
Phone: 312-595-5600
Price: $60-$75
chicagoshakes.com
The script for this Dash Arts production of Shakespeare's beloved romantic fantasy employs seven South Asian languages as well as English; the actors, designers, and stage management are all from India and Sri Lanka. Director Tim Supple obviously went to tremendous lengths to create a show that represents a vast swath of the subcontinent. And to what end? What can an American audience learn from this huge and unorthodox undertaking? Well, the main lesson it pushes is the familiar one Puck offers in Act III: "Lord, what fools these mortals be." Plus an important, equally familiar corollary: Men are beasts. Which, in itself, doesn't seem to justify the effort. We could have gotten that much by simply reading the original. But then we would have missed a gorgeous, vibrant spectacle that combines lyrical circus skills, physical rigor, great comic acting, Sumant Jayakrishnan's wonderfully inventive set and costumes, and delightful live music composed by Devissaro. There may not be any profound new insights to be gleaned here, but Supple and company have certainly made confirming the old ones a pleasure. --Tony Adler

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