Friday, August 24, 2007

A Midsummer Night's Dream

It was well worth waiting for. This is the best production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” I have ever seen. It’s also the first time I liked the mechanicals, the weaver, carpenter and other craftsmen who provide the low comedy, or rather lowest comedy. I always found them to be tedious, both in reading the play and watching it. But these six actors make them endearing and quite funny.

Director Daniel Sullivan has assembled an excellent cast and brings out each of the four plots -- the royals, the young lovers, the fairies and the mechanicals -- strongly in their own right, and then mingles them beautifully, not sacrificing any part.

As I said in my earlier mini review after Sunday’s rain-interrupted show, Jay O. Sanders is fabulous as Nick Bottom, the weaver. So is Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Francis Flute, the bellow’s-mender, who is a riot as Bottom’s bride in the mechanicals’ play. Tim Blake Nelson, Ken Cheeseman, Jason Antoon and Keith Randolph Smith make up the rest of the troupe and are also terrific.

This “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” more than makes up for long waits for tickets, rain, cold, buzzing helicopters and all the other variables of the Shakespeare in the Park experience. Catch it before it closes Sept. 9. A production like this will not come along again.

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