May 24th, 2008


A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's DreamAshland, Oregon
at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Wow!  This Midsummer isn't so much a staging of a grandmother-approved Shakespeare classic as a performance of a barely Work Safe on-stage rave. The risque romp uses Shakespeare's text and then sings, dances, and acts the story into a frenzy.

The best part of director Mark Rucker's vision are the fairy servants of King Oberon and Queen Titania.  These fairies aren't sweet Disney helpers with an impish sense of humor.  They're glam-rock refugees from Rocky Horror on a berserker binge of havoc making.

Other productions have left me wondering why the cute fairies were tweaking the poor love-besotted humans.  They were always comforting -- if oddly behaving -- beings helping us to the happy ending of the play.

Well!  These danger boys barely held their darkest impulses in check.  Their entrances caused wide-spread shrieks of excitement from the many teenage and sub-teenage girls in the audience.  Puck (John Tufts) was sexually smoky. Titania's courtiers were thieves, brazenly queer, and yet irresistible to all.

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This Midsummer Night's Dream is not a classic.  It's not a lovely fantasy story first read in high school.  It's a perverted man's pipe dream, corrupting family values and condoning bad behavior.  There's no consequence for misdeeds, and the sexually unrestrained get rewarded.  The low are brought high.   Disgusting!

Ozdachs Rating: Rating 4 1/2 out of 5