Hermia, Helena, Lysander, and Demetrius - what a crazy group of kids. Is there anything that needs to be said about the plot of this show? Two couples head into the woods, fairy King and Queen of the woods are fighting, a group of actors head into the woods to rehearse and shenanigans ensue. We all know the story.
This is one of the last shows that Joe Dowling is directing at the Guthrie. I have been told that it is a remounting/reworking of a previous Dowling production. I never saw the original so I can't vouch for it. What I do know is that I really enjoyed watching this production. It was fantastic!
Blank stage, directed in the round (to some extent), actors flying in....it was a great joy to watch. I have to admit that I thought the pacing was slow at the start but that only lasted for the first few minutes. Then again, it may have just been the start of the show. All the excitement starts when the Fairies start coming in. What I found really enjoyable was the costuming and make-up of the Fairies. It is done in a punk style and some of the text is sung in a 50's doo-wop style, mixed with jazz and blue. Such a great choice.
The pace of the show was good, and consistent. I was interested through out even though I have seen the show many times. I have to admit one more thing. I am not a fan of the Mechanicals...as a rule. This production helped change my mind about them. They were full, well rounded characters and their final performance...well... I was laughing so hard I was crying. Then they changed on a dime and almost brought me to tears for real. It is a really good production, an amazing cast (including the much written about Tyler Michaels as Puck) and well worth the three hours. In fact, it certainly did not feel like it was that long.
Go see it...it closes soon.