Julie Taymor's A Midsummer Night's Dream impressions?

AntV
Leading Actor
joined:12/23/12
Previews began Saturday. Has anyone seen it yet? How is the production? And how long is it?
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Are there any numbers about shoes?
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
I'm going tonight. I'm predicting good things as MIDSUMMER is probably the most director-proof Shakespeare in the canon.
"It's now rather very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that'. As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning, no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that'. Well, so f**king what?"--Stephen Fry
Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
I saw it last night and, as it stands now, it's dazzling and frustrating in equal measures.

There is some impressive aerial work with a big white sheet that lifts Titania into the upper regions of TFNA's nifty new space, but many of the actors still seemed to be finding their footing and, although Taymor brings lots of neat stagecraft to the proceedings, there's a sense of just too-too. The stagecraft could use some editing, and that's including the too on-the-nose homages to THE LION KING.

Kathryn Hunter has an utterly unique speaking voice that adds some character to Puck, but the character, as it stands now, is all flourish and contortions (Full disclosure: I don't like when Puck is played by a female) and no spontaneity. In fact, a lack of spontaneity affects nearly all the players. Max Casella comes across the best as Bottom, but the performance of Pyramus and Thisbe doesn't satisfy. As Hermia, Lilly Englert seems to be on her way to giving a good performance as a spoiled princess Hermia, but the slim, pretty Mandi Masden is miscast and looks lost as Helena. Yes, there are shirts taken off and abs of the night go to Zach Appelman's Demetrius. The lovers chasing each other through a forest of white panels was the visual high point of the second act.

There's more stick usage in this show than in the entire careers of Peter Brook and Andrei Serban combined. Paper, cardboard, and white pillows are also used throughout perhaps showing Taymor making a concerted effort to keep it simple. She could keep it simpler, though. Tens of tumbling children who are the fairies are used throughout the show and always seem to be just on the verge of injury. A little disconcerting, this, and could be trimmed down. Elliot Goldenthals music is heavy-handed and sort of dreary.

That said, it's still MIDSUMMER. It's indestructible. Even half-baked the show still delivers. So...yeah. Why not? Go see it. There were plenty of empty seats last night.

Oh, and Sven Ortel's awesome projections were the high point of the first act. I loved the moths!
"It's now rather very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that'. As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning, no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that'. Well, so f**king what?"--Stephen Fry
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
um, can I just say Theatre For A New Audience's new space is amazing, i haven't seen any space like it in nyc.
AntV
Leading Actor
joined:12/23/12
What is the running time for this? It doesn't seem to say anywhere. Intermission-less 90 minutes? 2 and a half hours? 3 hours? The 7:30 start time makes me think it's long.
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
went tonight, its currently running about 2hr 50 min with a 15 minute intermission
Billy Boy
Swing
joined:5/29/05
Beware the partial-view seats on the side sections of the balcony. They are not flagged as partial view and sold at full price, but the stage lights that line the side balcony obstruct about half the stage. Even if you lean over, you will still miss a substantial part of the stage. Also the railings on the balcony are not very secure - mine had about 8" of wiggle to it. No house manager available to fix the problem Buyer beware.
..psst, Golan, check out what Patti Lupone is wearing. Who dresses that girl?!!
AntV
Leading Actor
joined:12/23/12
I went tonight and loved the production. The theater is also awesome. I'm not much of a reviewer to pick apart pieces of it, but it was highly enjoyable. They are doing $20 tickets for those under age 30. You can order them in advance online, for any performance, for any seats except premium first row mezz. A steal! Go! I predict great reviews for this and the tickets are going to sell out quick!
OperaBwayLover
Broadway Star
joined:5/17/07
Wow, I'd like to see this. Midsummer is one of my favorite plays, and I love Julie Taymor's work, so this seems like a good pairing.
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
I saw this tonight and I absolutely loved it. It may as well be called HOW JULIE GOT HER GROOVE BACK, because her inventive, breathtaking, and ambitious direction is the absolute star of the show. The cast is great, but for me, Max Casella was the standout as Bottom. I'd love to see more of him onstage in the future. The nicest thing I can say about it is that the 3 hour running time went by so fast, without a scene or moment that didn't grab my attention. I thought it was beautiful, funny, romantic, and so creatively-staged. This production ranks among the most thrilling theater I've seen thus far this season.
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
mjohnson2
Broadway Star
joined:11/2/13
okay so there were empty seats during the previews, but the majority of the performances are completely sold out. It is Julie Taymor, and while she does have that-which-shall-not-be-named weighing her down, it was great publicity for hear, and she DID direct The Lion King and a bunch of artsy movies, including Frida and Titus, both of which I thought were fantastic, though I didn't care for The Lion King. I'm going to see it in like 2.5 weeks and I'm cautiously optimistic.
Anything regarding shows stated by this account is an attempt to convey opinion and not fact.
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
I thought it was awesome, as well. I'm totally a fan, and I love her style. I loved the guy playing bottom and the woman playing the lead fairy were incredible. The "love quartet" were all serviceable, and I'm not sure why Brantley loved the blonde girl so much, I found her hard to understand and not that interesting, but the visuals are what make the show. And the amount of tech that is involved in this tiny space is incredible.
AntV
Leading Actor
joined:12/23/12