Monday, November 08, 2010

“Midsummer Night’s Dream” presented by F.U.D.G.E Theatre Company –

“Midsummer Night’s Dream” presented by F.U.D.G.E Theatre Company –
Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown – November 5th -13th

Review by Adrienne Drobnies

As we slip closer to the winter solstice, F.U.D.G.E Theatre Company brings to the stage Shakespeare’s play of magical realism, “Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.” Joe DeMita’s innovative direction is the greatest strength of this production. The stage is set up with long monochrome strips of hanging fabric, a mirror to one side, and two rotating platforms on the floor, all of which are used effectively. The draped fabric evokes variously trees in the forest, bed covers for the lovers, and the tug-of-war between characters. The music (Debussy, Saariaho) fits well with the minimal and contemporary feel of this staging. The most interesting directorial choice was to divide the part of Puck into two, where the actors echo and mirror each other. And in the dreamscape of the forest scenes, the characters of Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius, and Helena have “shadows,” whose silent choreographed movements seem to represent the pure emotion of the young lovers. The depth and seriousness of those emotions balance the comedy of the characters’ immature actions. The effect of the extra players, enhanced by the stage mirror, is to create a kaleidoscope of altered and divided consciousness. The two Pucks, played by Anne Olmsted and K. Bevin Ayers, worked exceptionally well together. The actors were energetic and professional, with Richie DeJesus outstanding as “Bottom.” The cuts made to the script maintained the beauty of the language, humor, and fantasy in this enjoyable production. At a time of year when some fantasy and laughter is welcome, it’s worth the trip to the Arsenal Center to see this entertaining “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

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