A Midsummer Night's Dream | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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In a program note, director Matthew Reeder suggests we shouldn't dissect Shakespeare's comedy--and this gorgeous production encourages us to simply experience it. The elegant art deco set and costumes (by Matt Morton and Vicki J. Strei respectively) are done in clean lines of black, silver, and white. Richly colored tarps unfurl from lighted columns to represent the magical forest where four star-crossed lovers chase after, yearn for, and beat one another senseless; bumbling thespians present a hysterically awful, unwittingly satiric play within the play; and fairies gleam mischievously while creating obstacles everywhere. Reeder's bold choices--like casting muscular Kareem K. Bandealy instead of the usual Peter Pan type as fairy servant Puck--give the production a dark sensuality. Add Ray Nardelli's eclectic sound mix, Caryn Ott's flowing choreography, and the ensemble's mastery of physical and verbal humor, and the results are electric. Through 5/8: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 7 PM, Sun 3 PM. Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 Campbell, Arlington Heights, 847-577-2121. $27-$37.

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