Monday, September 19, 2011

A Midsummer Night's Dream for an autumn evening

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A lovely September night for a Shakespeare in the Park performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Burnet Woods in Clifton, near the UC campus. The rain fortunately held off until well after the show ended, so the show went off without a hitch. Afterwards, it was off to the Clifton Skyline Chili at Ludlow and Clifton with friends Nancy, Charles and Dick, as well as Luigina and Rob.

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And a great show it was. Burnet Woods, in my opinion, provides the perfect setting for a play set largely in a forest, the cast was energetic (not to mention hilarious; you really get an idea of where Monty Python was getting a fair chunk of their material), and the costuming added the crowning touch. If the CSC ever puts on a production of Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, Cary Davenport, pictured here playing the part of Francis Flute (who is in turn playing the part of Thisbe), has to play the part of the Red Queen. A tip of the hat to Heidi Jo Scheimer, the CSC's Resident Costume Designer, for inspired work on all the costumes (though in Cary's case, it's the beard that really completes the look, not to mention his facial expressions).

Alas, this was the final performance of MSND for the 2011 SitP season. There is a final performance of Julius Caesar next weekend, but I  don't think I'll be able to make that.

I just wish this company had been around in the early 70s when Mrs. McCann, my ninth-grade English teacher, was trying to make me read Julius Caesar. Apparently she, along with my dad, a college English professor at UC, were of the opinion that Shakespeare was writing for them (i.e., English teachers) and that these plays were meant to be read, rather than seen. I strongly disagree. Reading these plays just doesn't do it for me. To truly appreciate Shakespeare, you should see the plays performed, by a company as talented and enthusiastic as the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

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