Fun, Mischief and Music in the Forest
Focusing on the mysticism in the forest scenes of A Midsummer Night’s Dream composer Celeste Axelson, adapted Shakespeare’s play, presenting an outstanding creative endeavor, which enthralled the audience both with its music and ethereal visual effects.
In Shakespeare’s play, the King and Queen of the fairies, Oberon and Titania as well as their entourage represented for the Elizabethans the ungovernable often destructive forces of nature, which were the ultimate determining factors of their lives. As a result, there was a lot of superstition about what went on in forests; supposedly things like Cobwebs, Mustard-seeds, Moths, ( the names of fairies in Titania’s entourage) were endowed with spirits which could work magic.
Another theme in the play was the perennial discussion of the intense power of what we now call “hormonal” love. Freud called “falling in love” a near psychotic state and in medieval times there are many instances of magical intervention creating intense hormonal love, as if, in a highly religious age, when chastity was valued above all, pagan magic through the intervention of herbs, had made people fall in love. ( and behave irrationally)
Through original music, aerial performances, three acrobatic Pucks, superb costumes, this was one of the most creative enthralling performances of Dream I have ever seen with a clear coherent focus on the mystical element of the play.
Celeste Axelson as Titania delivered a stellar performance both as a superb singer with a speaking voice to match, who could also deliver Shakespeare’s text “trippingly on the tongue,” Lara Fox as Helena was a wonderfully comedic awkward unattractive spurned lover, when in fact she is beautiful and a graceful dancer.
Acrobatic Haley Watson as the second of the Triplet Pucks, was a wonderful Pan-like Puck who did cart-wheels, back-flips and general gymnastics adding a truly supernatural aspect to the show. Puck One, Jaquelyn Miedema delivered the final speech at the end, “if these shadows have offended” with so much warmth that the audience truly connected with the actors.
One of the things which made the show outstanding were the costumes designed by Helena Stitzel, they were ethereal and made this a stunning show. The set, designed by Sarah Champernowne and Axelson matched the superb costumes, complimented the mysticism of the text and music and was simply delicious to look at.
If you have seen Midsummer Night’s Dream too many times and think you can’t bear to see it again, go see this version, because its fresh, new interpretation really is something different.
A Midsummer Night’s Fantasy, A Musical Adaption of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, Capitol Hill, Seattle 98122 (at Seattle Central Community College, Broadway @ E. Pine)Fri, Sat, Sun June 19, 20, 21 at 7 pm, Sun matinee at 1:30.; Tickets: http://bpt.me/1626288