Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Saturday, 29 September 2012 20:20

Saint Louis Shakespeare tackles a dream of a play with 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream'

Written by Connie Bollinger
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

Saint Louis Shakespeare tackles a dream of a play with 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream'
Photo by Kim Carlson

Shakespeare, that canny old Bard. I wonder what he would think if he could see this modern version of his work? Like me he'd probably love it, with a few exceptions.

St. Louis Shakespeare's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a funny, energetic, well acted presentation of the familiar and timeless comedy of mistaken identity, misused love potions, fairy mischief, pratfalls, slapstick, you name it. The actors have to be agile, able to take a fall, all the while reciting lines that are written in incredibly difficult Old World English. It is a romp, a marathon, a race and therein lies the rub.

With a plot as complicated as this, with a play so crammed with phantasmagorical characters and incredible circumstances, it is essential that we are given the chance at least to decipher the dialogue. Director Donna Northcott seems to have sadly fallen into the familiar Shakespeare trap of mistaking fast paced for fast talking. Many of the Bard's best puns, jibes, sass talk, bawdy jokes and clever rhymes are lost in the scramble to keep it moving.

Michael Juncal is one of the few exceptions. His Oberon spoke clearly and cleverly, enunciating almost every delicious word and phrase. Only once or twice did he rush but then he immediately corrected his pace. He's one of the best Oberons I've ever seen.

Paul Edwards as Bottom and Joshua Nash Payne as Puck competed for scene stealer of the evening, giving wonderfully physical and interesting performances.Both gentlemen have a wonderful sense of comedic timing and have the ability to give us a myriad of facial expressions without actually sliding into mugging.

Fairy Queen Titania played by Njemile Ambonisye is lovely and regal, mischievous, passionate and slightly vindictive. She has just the right royal attitude.

From the featured players to the Queen's attending fairies and the hapless townsmen and woman rehearsing in that haunted wood, this production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is loads of fun and the finale is a stunner.

I have only one question for costume designer Wes Jenkins; why were the human characters all dressed in WWI garb? Jodhpurs and straw boaters and a double breasted suit didn't take the fun out for me, but I kept wondering, as I do whenever someone makes this costuming choice, what is the point?

No matter. It is a delightful production.

Additional Info

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


The Mound City Slickers

Mon August 4

KDHX Recommends

September
Friday
05

Art Outside

Art Outside is not an ordinary fair, but one that features art, music and plenty of food and drink from Schlafly Beer. Hosted at the brewery’s Bottleworks location in Maplewood, Missouri, Art Outside draws approximately 15,000...


September
Saturday
06

T&A (Tom Hall and Alice Spencer) at Harvest Sessions 2014

T&A (Tom Hall and Alice Spencer) at Harvest Sessions 2014 T&A is the acoustic duo of Tom Hall and Alice Spencer, veterans of the legendary Geyer Street Sheiks, and accomplished solo artists in their own right. Harvest Sessions is thrilled to welcome them for two sets of acoustic blues,...


September
Thursday
11

Discovery Series: The Mastersons

KDHX presents The Mastersons as part of the Discovery Series. Series passports can be bought online. shop.kdhx.org/products/discovery-series-passport   Filled with irresistible melodies, buoyant harmonies and stellar...


Online Users

7 users and 11728 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook