The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.2192  Tuesday, 18 November 2003

From:           Hardy M. Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Subject:        The Shakespeare Theatre's Dream

I very much enjoyed the Shakespeare Theatre's latest version of /A
Midsummer Night's Dream/ as did the Shakespeare Theatre's newest
subscriber ten-year-old Rebecca Mary Elizabeth Cook, her big sister, and

Sparkling, Magical 'Dream'
The Shakespeare Theatre's Production Is as Enchanting As Midsummer
By Peter Marks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 11, 2003; Page C01

At times you can only barely make out the poetic speechifying in the
Shakespeare Theatre's new mounting of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and
it has nothing to do with the audibility of the actors. No, what speaks
loudest in this ravishing production is the breath-stopping realization
of an enchanted world, as fit for the dream state as any you might
conjure in your own fertile unconscious.  While mouths are moving, your
distracted eye lingers on the image of Titania and Oberon, both 12 feet
tall in immense skirts and drifting through the forest like spellbinding
tepees. Or of Titania's winged fairies, wearing bits and pieces
scavenged from a janitor's closet and somersaulting through space, or
skulking on the ground, toting ghost lights. Or of the Changeling Boy,
floating down from the heavens on the fairy queen's bed, as if he were
one of the lost lads visiting from Neverland.

This boy, played by James E. Bonilla, is merely referred to in most
productions; he's the child over whom Oberon and Titania, king and queen
of the fairies, start their comic war, the battle that sucks in the
unsuspecting mortals from Theseus's Athenian court. But in Mark Lamos's
luminous staging, the boy is a ubiquitous character, present in both
court and forest scenes. And he has a real purpose. It's the dreams of
the young, the production asserts, that facilitate the greatest leaps of
imagination, that can animate the spirit in the most primitive and
magical ways. In concert with a prodigiously talented set designer,
Leiko Fuseya, and a costume designer, Constance Hoffman, who's a
virtuoso with needle and thread, Lamos does something to astonish a
seasoned theatergoer: He makes the play feel young again.

. . .


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Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Webpage <http://www.shaksper.net>

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