Love Destined For Disaster
If you're looking to take a break from all of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas hoopla, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater could be the break you need. One of the greatest playwrights of all times, William Shakespeare will delight you with one of his outrageous comedy ‘A Mid-Summer Night's Dream.'
Written in 1595 and considered one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage, Mid-Summer is a play with interconnecting plots and dual roles linked together with a celebration of the wedding of Duke Theseus of Athens and the Amazon queen, Hippolyta, set in the woods in the realm of Fairyland under the moonlight.
Set in a dream world surrounded by nature with high-flying fairies, dazzling dance numbers and exhilarating music (blending rock, jazz, blues, and ‘50s doo-wop). Internationally acclaimed director Joe Dowling who has directed this play 10 times will engage you in this folklore, mythology play under the light of the moon.
‘A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream’ is as enchanting as it is a misguided tale that will take you on a journey through the beautiful, conflicting forest filled with magic spells that goes incredibly wrong for four Athenian young lovers and an unsuspecting troupe of aspirational amateur actors who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest.
Midsummer opens with Hermia, disobedience against her father Egeus's demand that she wed Demetrius but she is in love with Lysander. Then there’s Egeus’s (William Dick) who is a high-ranking member of the Duke's court seeks the advice from Theseus regarding his daughter Hermia (Melisa Soledad Pereyra) who is in love with Lysander (Tyrone Phillips) and refuses to marry the man that her father has chosen for her Demetrius played by Eric Schabla.
Confined by the ancient Athenian law which gives her father the rights to choose who she can wed or face death, Hermia is destined to follow her own path and flees into the woods so that she doesn't have to follow the Athenian law with Lysander. However, her best friend Helena (Cristina Panfilio) who is in love with Demetrius tips him off about their plans and he goes to the woods to stop them and so does the heartsick Helena; who is hoping it will make Demetrius fall in love with her. All four of the lovers run into the forest, only to find themselves mesmerized by the magical powers of the fairies.
In the enchanted woods is where the couples go to find true love, and it is where all of the magic happens where the fairy king and queen are having problems of their own, surrounded by the mechanicals (who are dually noted as not being clowns). Enraged by the devotion that Titania has for a young human boy, Oberon commands his fairy servant Puck/Philostrate (Sam Kebede) to place a spell on Titania to fall in love with the first creature that she encounters.
The Duke of Athens, Theseus/ Oberon played by Edward O'Blenis plans to marry Hippolyta/Titania, Queen of the Amazons played by Alexandra Silber (the warrior whom he has conquered in battle) who only wants peace and harmony with the mortal world and to be serenaded by her devoted fairies.
‘Midsummer' is all about getting the right potion, spells and fairy dust sprinkled onto the right couples; however, it will take some time to get it right with these lovers, because relationship problems seem to plague the characters in this production in a war of wills.
That same night Athenian workers rehearsing a play that they want to present to Theseus on his wedding day enters the woods. Puck sees the perfect target and aims directly at one of the crew members Nick Bottom played by T.R. Knight as the perfect love match for the Fairy Queen. An Ass!
The play that is destined for love disaster is hilarious and a bit all over the place; however, it is so enchanting to watch to see how it plays out in the end. T.R, Knight is best known for his Emmy Award-nominated portrayal of Dr. George O'Malley on Grey's Anatomy does an outstanding job as Bottom a complex character who is an aspiring thespian transfigured into a donkey by a fairy spell. Another actor that stood out was by Sam Kebede he was wildly entertaining and fun to watch as the mischievous Puck the King's servant.
Let’s Play ‘Recommend’ that you treat yourself this holiday season to ‘A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream’ where for a couple of hours you will enjoy some riotous humor, a beautiful visual landscape and a medley musical score of eclectic music.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
A MID-SUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Joe Dowling
December 6, 2018 – January 27, 2019
Filed under: ChicagoNow