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Monday, March 28, 2011

A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Lantern

These pictures are shot from angles I was not privy to, alas we arrived too late for choice seats. I should have driven into the city the way I intended, over the Ben and through the woods... but I took the Walt Whitman, and we all know how long-winded he can be. Just saying. The largest cast I have ever seen at the Lantern Theatre Company's yearly Shakespearian production did not delight as much as their Hamlet or Richard the III. Considering it was a comedy, I thought I would enjoy it more than the amazing tragedies I have seen by this theatre company. For all the costuming (which was highly unusual for the lantern) and large cast, it was the small moments that made this production work. Wall for instance, fittingly played by Mark Cairns, who also played Snout and Mustardseed, carried a large portion of the comic relief on his shoulders. I hope to see more of him at the Lantern. Our beloved Benjamin Lloyd made a reappearance and his resounding bellows as Bottom brought life to a production that can be a drag, no offense William, but it is not one of your best plays. The staging was particularly good, staying true to the company's sparse style but offering moments of magic with the fairies. I did wonder at the costuming though, I could not fathom why Mary Folino would have chosen linen of all fabrics for Helena and Hermia. I kept imagining the frantic ironing that needs to take place to bring those mangled costumes back to life. When I write mangled, I mean it, these actors commit fully to every fight and struggle, shedding and tearing at one another's clothes. I only hope that they had a few spare outfits, or they will never make it through the run. As costuming goes, in some areas it can detract, but with performers playing double and triple roles, I can understand the necessity. I need to see this play staged by other companies to make any true review because I never warmed up to the main characters at all, and I am not sure that I am supposed to. Puck (Dave Johnson) stealthily stole this production out from underneath all other players. I found myself watching his face above all others. It was me watching him, watching the action... hmmmm what does that remind me of?

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