It's the last week of the 25th Annual Freewill Shakespeare Festival but I think you are in for a good show whichever of the two plays you manage to get to. Earlier I wrote about Lear, which I liked so much I went to it twice. I have to be completely candid here, I wasn't going to go to Midsummer. I've been in it and have seen it many, many times and thought I had my fill of the play. But this review by Liz Nichols in the Edmonton Journal and this Blog post by John Richardson and my reaction to Lear made me think that if I went, I would be seeing a 'new' Midsummer. AM and I took in the Sunday matinee and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The approach felt fresh and physical and sections that normally fail to draw me in (the lovers) were captivating and engaging. This is a version that you can take kids to and you won't have to worry about them checking out. I'm hoping to get back there this week with my kids as I think they would absolutely love it. Everything was delightfully topsy-turvy. Kevin Corey's Puck mocks the traditional spry and acrobatic role, reinventing it. I loved the use of the dog for the changeling child. Best of all was the use of magic to control the action. I have never seen the objectives played quite so well. Why would Lysander keep talking to Hermia when he now loves Helena? Because magic compels him to. Brilliant! The physical contortions of Jesse Gervais and Sheldon Elter (Demetrius and Lysander) are hysterical. And best of all, it is all even. There is no waiting for your favorite parts because every one of the stories is fun and interesting. Sorry, I gush, but I did really like it. So very glad I went!
Anyhow, whether it's King Lear or A Midsummer Night's Dream, I don't think you can go wrong this year in the park!