What’s so great about Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream is the staging and comedy and costumes and sometimes music and choreography, oh and the acting too — all the elements are overwhelming at times with this play. I’ve never seen a Midsummer I didn’t like, but not one alike.
The above photo is telling of Old Globe’s production of MSND. Krystal Lucas as Titania dotes on Miles Anderson as Bottom unbeknownst to him in a ridiculous donkey costume. There are plenty of fairies to cause trouble for the humans.
This play is surrounded by a wedding, but it’s barely noticed. Jay Whittaker as Theseus and Krystel Lucas as Hippolyta are to be married, but there are the four youths trying to find love. They end up in a magical forest where fairies play tricks on them. The other layer is the working men who fail miserably to entertain Theseus and Hippolyta with a play.
As you can see in the photo above Bottom, one of the workers, ends up falling in love with Titania. Even the name Bottom is silly. Anderson sticks out his teeth becoming the donkey as bubbles float from his bubble bath. This is one of those magical moments created in part by scenic designer Ralph Funicello and costume designer Deirdre Clancy.
Another breathtaking moment is when Jay Whittaker as Oberon and Krystel Lucas as Titania stand juxtapose with fingertips touching. Alan Burrett’s lighting design illuminates Lucas’ white cotton dress pieced together as if fairies sewed it from flower petals. Whittaker is in pale camouflage pants and a white sheet pieced together mimicking Lucas’ dress to create a cape. Their hair is swept up as lite and airy as cotton candy.
Director Ian Talbot has acted in and produced MSND many times. He delights in hearing the squeals of the children in the audience and certainly produced such results.
Check out The Old Globe in San Diego.