Saturday, March 20, 2010
Show #13 "Arne Zaslove's Rock n' Roll Midsummer Night's Dream" at Burien Little Theatre
I'm no expert, but I do know this: actors and directors have tried just about everything when presenting Shakespeare. I have seen the Bard's work set in Outer Space, Victorian England, 1940's Italy, Japan, Bosnia and even Tacoma, WA (remember "10 Things I Hate About You"?)
This is a production set in an American high school in the 1950's. Not sure how the enchanted forest figures into a high school setting, but this is when suspension of disbelief definitely comes into play.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is always fun, no matter who puts it on. From a high school drama club to a professional theatre company, this is the one Shakespearean show that everyone is good at. You could probably set the story just about anywhere in the world. After all, which part of the world is most likely to have a forest full of fairies?
You could set it in just about any era of history. As long as there have been lovers, enchanted myths and bad actors, there is Midsummer.
So, I had fun watching this group of performers twist and shout their way through the evening. Familiar songs, such as "Love Me Tender," "Rockin' Robin", "Rock Around the Clock" and "Chapel of Love" made it even more fun for all.
But what I enjoyed most, is the wonderful language of Shakespeare. No matter the setting, no matter the "level of theatre" (amateur, professional etc.) and no matter the budget, these beautiful words are what get us every time.
It inspires me. It doesn't just inspire me to read his words more often, it mostly inspires me to get back in the saddle and try to perform Shakespeare again one day.
I have only attempted to do this once, when I appeared in a production of "As You Like It." I need to do it again. I can do it. It isn't easy, but I CAN do it.
Thank you, Burien Little Theatre, for bringing us the Bard. Your actors are an inspiration to me. Just beware, you may have unleashed a Shakespearean actor/monster into your midst...
Graphics courtesy of Burien Little Theatre