A Midsummer Night's Dream Closing (Theater and Galleries) Free Member Picks New Review (Theater and Comedy) The Short List (Theater)

When: Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through Aug. 26 2012

As if spoiling for a challenge, Midsommer Flight is staging this Shakespeare-in-the-park production on just about the noisiest possible patch of Chicago Park District land—a back corner of Touhy Park flanked by soccer-field bleachers and a playground, both in ripe late-summer usage on opening weekend. Under the circumstances, the standout members of Beth Wolf's cast are the ones you can actually hear. As the charismatic buffoon Nick Bottom, basso J. Preddie Predmore achieves the sort of booming audibility and hammy stage presence that must've captivated the groundlings in Shakespeare's time. Other scenes—indeed, whole story lines—become a sort of clumsy ballet behind the squeals of park-going kids. Still, setting up in the heart of the action allowed the new company to draw walk-ups, many of whom stayed for the duration. —Keith Griffith

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