Monday, August 20, 2007

A Midsummer Night's Dream

The first half hour was so promising. Then the next two hours were all wet.
Oh the risks of doing Shakespeare in the Park! This “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” became a wet Dream Sunday night, but not before some good old the-show-must-go-on determination on the part of the Public, its cast and the audience.
My friend Carolyn and I had already skipped our picnic because of the rain, but we headed over to the Delacorte to see what would happen at curtain time. As the other hopefuls crowded around the dry space surrounding the theatre, we sat on a bench, me with an umbrella and Carolyn in a rain hat, and sipped the red wine she had bought for our canceled picnic.
We waited. And waited. And drank some more wine. And waited a bit more.
Finally, sometime after 9 the house opened to much cheering. By now it was only misting. We sat in our wet seats and watched the stagehands try to mop water from the wet stage. We were told when the curtain went up, our umbrellas had to go down, which didn’t seem necessary since there was plenty of room for the hardy band that was left to move away from an offending umbrella, but the young people who work for the Public are definitely rule happy -- Carolyn calls one of them the line Nazi -- so when the show started, we put away the umbrellas and shivered in the mist, which then became sprinkles, which then became light rain.
When the announcement came that the show was being canceled I didn’t mind, even though I was enjoying it. The irony, as Carolyn said, is that there have been plenty of times we would have been happy to leave early because the shows were so bad. This is one show I would have stayed for, had it only been misty, until midnight, which would have been the finishing time because of the late start.
Here’s what I liked -- Martha Plimpton as Helena and Jay O. Sanders (in photo) as Bottom standout as perfect for their parts. A glimpse of Laila Robins (in photo) as Titania gave the promise of much fun to come when she is knocked from her lofty perch by the spell that leaves her bewitched of Bottom. I was intrigued by Eugene Lee’s set dominated by a big bare tree and wanted to see what it would unfold.
So, does anyone know what the weather is for next Sunday?

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