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A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays. A father’s death threat send a mismatched crew of Athenian lovers into the woods on various flights of escape and yearning, only to become the object of mischief and merriment for the fairies who reside there. In a subplot, a group of local workmen, or “mechanicals,” prepare a theatrical performance to celebrate the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta, the Duke of Athens and the Queen of the Amazons. When the six men decide to rehearse in the woods, their leading man, Bottom, also finds himself caught in the crossfire of mischief and magic.

Director Kyle LoConti’s youthful production is charming, energetic, and appealing to the eye. While the entire cast gives it their all, I particularly enjoyed Jonathan Shuey, who is wonderfully funny and articulate as Theseus; Mary Ryan, who channels any number of daft stage redheads as Helena; Adriano Gatto and Morgan Chard, who are blissfully fun as Oberon and Titania; Chad Fess, who is excellent as Puck; and Jeff Coyle, who makes hay of Bottom—in a good way. (I’d restage and re-order the bizarre curtain call, but that’s a small complaint.)

While Shakespeare in Delaware Park has been blessed with mostly good weather, without the pall of the Collins administration hanging over the arts community, donations on the hill have, reportedly, been down. When you’re packing your blanket, your lawn chairs, and your picnic supper, do remember to take along a few bucks for the voluntary collection at intermission. And there if you’re only giving a dollar or two, there’s no need to fold it into unrecognizable folds of monetary origami—every contribution is appreciated. Feel for the poor volunteers who have to unfold and flatten out your tortured dollar after the show! Or better yet, flaunt an $10 or a $20—you’ll feel good!