A Midsummer Night’s Dream
William Shakespeare’s masterpiece, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the classic, magical romantic-comedy, is now playing in the Hanna Theatre at PlayhouseSquare. Performed by one of PlayhouseSquare’s resident companies, the Great Lakes Theater Festival, this show is another on my list of must- sees.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream follows four young lovers from Athens, a troupe of amateur actors, the Athenian aristocracy and magical fairies, as they find themselves crossing paths in the woods on a magical summer night. Spells are cast and lovers are mismatched with humorous results. It is no wonder that A Midsummer Night’s Dream remains an audience favorite after more than 400 years.
Great Lakes Theater Festival is known for its more contemporary staging and interpretation of Shakespearean classics, putting a modern spin on costumes, sets and props, while retaining the original Elizabethan text. A Midsummer Night’s Dream continues this tradition and even throws in some Beatles’ classics, to boot. The acting is first-rate, especially Eduardo Placer as Puck. And the sets are spectacular, taking the audience from Athens to the magical woods. Overall, the company presents an enjoyable evening of theatre.
There is still time to see this production (May 14 and 15). And don’t forget Bat Boy: The Musical, also playing (May 12, 13, 15, and 16). I highly recommend both productions in Great Lakes Theater Festival’s Spring Repertory.
If you cannot make it this week, be sure to see a performance by the Great Lakes Theater Festival next season. The 2010-2011 Season has been announced. The Fall Repertory includes William Shakespeare’s Othello and Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband (September 24 – October 31, 2010). The Spring Repertory features The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (March 11-27, 2011) and Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona (April 8-23). And as always, the holiday classic A Christmas Carol returns to the Ohio Theatre (December 3–23, 2010).
The Great Lakes Theater Festival began in July of 1962, at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium in Lakewood, Ohio. As the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, the company presented six Shakespeare plays in rotating repertory. In 1965, the repertory was expanded to include non-Shakespearean classics, although they have always remained an important part of the company. Twenty years later, in July of 1982, the Great Lakes Theater Festival moved to the Ohio Theatre at PlayhouseSquare. And then in 2008, the company moved again to the beautifully-restored Hanna Theatre.
With eight theatres, PlayhouseSquare is the nation’s second largest performing arts center (after Lincoln Center in New York). The five oldest theatres date back to 1921-1922, and all have been gloriously restored. In 2011, another important Cleveland institution, The Cleveland Play House, will move to PlayhouseSquare in a renovated and reconfigured Allen Theatre. Two additional theatres will be built for this venture, bringing PlayhouseSquare’s theatre count to ten and making Cleveland’s Theatre District busier and more vibrant than ever.
For more information about the Great Lakes Theater Festival, please refer to its website at www.GreatLakesTheater.org. For more information about PlayhouseSquare, its website is www.PlayhouseSquare.org. –Submitted by guest blogger, Christopher S. Mussleman