Theatre Mirror Reviews - "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2006 by Tony Annicone

"A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Bay Colony Productions' current show is Shakespeare's romantic comedy, "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Moonlight, magic and midsummer madness infect the lovers, tradesmen and fairies in this tale set in 1810. It takes place in and around the Duke's palace and the forest in Athens. The plot revolves around the Duke of Athens impending marriage to Hippolyta, an Amazon warrior. It also concerns the lovers, Lysander, Hermia, Helena and Demetrius, the fairies including Oberon the King and Titania the Queen and Puck, the mischievous servant of the King who wreaks havoc with the people caught in the woods and the hilarious tradesmen practicing a tragic comedy for the Duke's nuptials. Director Steve Dooner casts all the roles perfectly and infuses the cast with high energy and comic bits that leave the audiences laughing all night long.

Steve creates a magical world for this show and gives his performers some excellent physical comedy and bawdiness to lighten up the show as it progresses. He also trims the show down to two hours and two minutes, keeping the action flowing and the pacing of lines is topnotch, too. The two story forest setting is by Michael Teixiera who also stage manages this enormous undertaking as well as designing the mood lighting for the human and fairy segments. Dan Kozar does double duty in this show, creating the multitude of gorgeous costumes as well as playing Hermia's strict father, Egeus who demands she marry Demetrius or be put to death by the Duke. The sound designer is Ed DiMarzsio who creates thunder as well as other special effects and the props are by Gail Gilman.

One of the show's many scene stealers is Jim Sullivan who plays Nick Bottom who is transformed into a jackass by Puck. His over the top delivery as the hammy actor who wants to play all the roles in the tradesmen's show is hilarious. (His fellow actors in those scenes are a hoot and include Bill Cunningham in drag with a blond wig and a real beard as Thisby, Craig Lampert as Peter Quince, Brian London as Moonshine, Alfred Kholi as the wall and Richard Sliwinski as the Lion who dances up a storm in the closing scene of the show.) The Duke and Oberon are well played by Michael Simon who has some fast costume changes in the show and tons of poetic dialogue which he delivers wonderfully. Hippolyta and Titania are well played by Laura Desmarais who's annunciation of all her lines is splendid. She always does a first rate job in all her roles and these two are no exceptions.

The four lovers steal many scenes with their physicality and fighting scenes. Mike Buckley as Lysander, Kelly Cavanaugh as Hermia, Aimee Doherty as Helena and Jack Ferdman as Demetrius are splendid and their line delivery is outstanding. Their double takes and the constant wrestling while trying to woo their true loves are a hilarious. Kudos for infusing these roles with energy they need. Carol Kautsire plays the whirling dervish, Puck who runs in and out of numerous scenes constantly. Wonderful work by the whole ensemble. So for a trip back to the comic days of yesteryear, be sure to catch this Shakespearean romp in Foxboro.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" (17 - 26 March)
Orpheum Theatre, 1 School Street, FOXBORO MA
1 (508) 543-ARTS

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide