BWW Reviews: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company)
Although outside it still feels like winter in West Michigan, inside the Dog Story Theatre, it is midsummer!
The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company has created a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that is sparkling with vitality and physical energy. In Shakespeare's classic tale of love gone awry, two sets of Athenian lovers flee into the surrounding forests, in an attempt to escape the Duke's law, which will keep them apart. The interference of a well-meaning albeit mischievous fairy, Puck, causes the lovers' passions to be switched to the wrong person. Likewise, the fairy queen, also anointed with the love spell, falls madly in love with a blundering weaver, also in the forest with a band of misfit mechanicals-turned-actors, preparing a play for the Duke's wedding day, who has been given the monstrous head of a donkey by Puck. After many shenanigans and much outrage on the part of the mismatched pairs, the fairy king commands that all be set aright, and the couples are wed along with the Duke and his bride, and the play-within-a-play for which Shakespeare was so brilliant at constructing, is performed, to the merriment and mirth of all.
The performance of live music by the actors keeps the show feeling fresh and lively and contributes to the overall vibrancy of the show, as does the audience interaction. The traditional practices for which Pigeon Creek is known are employed, including universal lighting on a thrust stage, minimal set, cross-gendered casting, and doubling of roles, which keeps the actors on their toes and makes for a unique theatrical experience. Prior to the performance, there was a celebration of William Shakespeare's 450th birthday, which involved a Shakespeare trivia game and tasty treats as prizes for the winners.
WITH: Steven Anderson (Egeus/Peter Quince), Kathleen Bode (Nick Bottom), Antonio Copeland (Lysander), Kimi Griggs (Hermia), Amanda Heeren (Snug/Fairy), Janelle Mahlmann (Titania /Theseus), Chad Marriott (Francis Flute/Fairy), Kristen Ripley (Snout/Fairy), Janna Rosenkranz (Robin Starveling/Fairy), Sarah Stark (Helena), Brad Sytsma (Demetrius), Kate Tubbs (Puck/Philostrate), Kyle Westmaas (Oberon/Hippolyta)
Upcoming performances by Pigeon Creek include The Merry Wives of Windsor, which will be performed at The Rose Playhouse, as part of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lakes, Michigan, on May 31. The summer traveling production of Coriolanus will be taking place June 19-21 and June 26-28 at 8:00 p.m., June 22 and 29 at 3:00 p.m. at Dog Story Theater 7 Jefferson SE Grand Rapids, MI Tickets are $14 for adults, $7 for students and seniors. For tickets, visit www.dogstorytheater.com; On July 13 at 7:30 p.m. it will be performed at Creative 360 1517 Bayliss St Midland, MI 48640. Please call for ticket information: (989) 837-1885; July 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Seven Steps Up 116 South Jackson Spring Lake, MI; July 26 at 7:30 p.m. at The Box Factory for the Arts 1101 Broad St, St Joseph, MI 49085; Please Call for ticket information: (269) 983-3688; Tickets are $14 for adults, $7 for students and seniors For tickets, call the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company at 616-850-0916