I finally got out to see a real live performance! I’m so excited. I live in Montgomery County, Maryland near Washington DC, and although there are wonderful Shakespearean performances happening around me all the time, I am not able to get out to see them! Hope springs eternal, and I continue to keep my eye out for opportunities. I’ve been reading blogger Maryland Shakespeare who gets out a lot more than I do; he lets me know about all the great shows I’m missing!
Anyhow, I do get out once in a while, and because I like cheap and convenient theater, I am a longtime subscriber to Montgomery Playhouse, a local community theater group that performs just about in my backyard. And imagine the karma happening here when the last performance of the season, Catch Me if You Can, was dropped and A Midsummer Night’s Dream was scheduled instead! (I wasn’t actually blogging yet or thinking about blogging yet when they made that announcement, but still, it worked out well for me. And the timing is perfect since I’m taking so long with each play and I’m still in the middle of my meandering thoughts on A Midsummer Night’s Dream!)
So, how was it? Wonderful! I loved it. Really, they did a great job. They set the scene in a modern high school. Some male parts are played by women (Egeus is Hermia’s mother rather than father, for example) but other than that, they stay true to the text.
This is low-budget community theater, but all the players do well, the set is nice, the costumes appropriate. There were a few garbled and hurried lines, but I am pretty darn familiar with the play at this point, so it didn’t bother me a bit. For the most part, they are stellar—delivery clear and they do a great job getting the meaning across.
The actors involved in the love quadrangle include three local college kids and one high schooler—they do just fine. I enjoyed seeing them deteriorate through the night—clothing in increasing disarray, bruises and cuts showing up, school uniforms falling apart.
The fairies are well done. Titania is sexy and voluptuous while Oberon is quite sophisticated and I loved his slightly affected British accent. Puck is very funny. I really enjoyed Puck and Oberon munching on popcorn while they watch the “sport” play out with the Athenians.
This is community theater, after all, so it’s fun to see someone I know in real life up on the stage. The director of my son’s preschool plays Peter Quince (just “Quince” in this version). She does a great job, as I’ve seen her do in previous plays. All the mechanicals are very funny. I enjoyed their silly posturing and they do a fine job with Pyramus and Thisbe.
I loved the whole production and it was so much fun to see a live performance. If you live in the DC area, try to get out to see the show. It’s at the Rosborough Center in Gaithersburg through May 2… nice cushy seats and affordable prices. Support local theater!
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