A Midsummer Night's Dream
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Kim Taylor

The essence of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is contained in the lines: “The course of true love never did run smooth.” and “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Both essentially comic phrases open the doors for a unique kind of merriment that sets this play apart from Shakespeare’s other comedies. Perhaps it’s the magical world the play creates through a spirituality of nature and some very beautiful poetry. Indeed, this off beat comedy ironically establishes a very definite beat making it a musical where the actors provide the verse and the audience the musical instrument of laughter.

The story is essentially a love story where everyone is mismatched for various reasons and the spirits of the forest try to put everything right. Of course everything ends up even more mismatched which only makes more comic twists on the road where “true love never did run smooth.” It also makes “fools’ out of all those “mortals,” turning one, playfully named Bottom, into a real ass.

Marin Shakespeare’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Robert Currier, takes on a circus atmosphere. Several actors are trained clowns including Diane Wasnak in the part of Puck and her dog Bonzer. Wasnak performed in the Pickle Family Circus and Cirque du Soleil. Unfortunately the course of production, like love, doesn’t always run smoothly. Wasnak was ill for the opening night performance, but producer Lesley Currier did a great job filling in as Puck. If, however, your heart is set on seeing Wasnak, be sure to call the theatre prior to the performance you want to attend.

For tickets or more information call (415) 499-4488 or visit www.marinshakespeare.org. This outdoor theatre is located at Dominican University in San Rafael.

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