Regional Reviews: Seattle
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The concept was to deliver this most felicitous and fanciful production a la a 1930s musical. In the past, a version of the play set in the 1950s proved a delight, but it skillfully wove in tunes off the era. This one uses uninspired original music by Nir Sadovnik awkwardly set to Shakespeare's prose, truncated or eliminated in the process. Director George Mount should have left well enough alone, or used some real '30s tunes like "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking," or "It's the Animal in Me" and left the real text alone. Not to mention that as the show goes on the whole backstage setting seems entirely superfluous.
The lack of a sound designer leaves many words inaudible. Crystal Dawn Munkers' choreography is a beacon of light and magic, especially considering the vapid music she had to put staging to. Munkers also makes a largely non-musical theatre cast look good and sometimes great, and she brings a nice sort of chorus floozy charm to her role as Hippolyta.
Other standouts in a game cast included Keiko Green's spirited Helena, Mallory Cooney King's lithe Hermia, John David Scott's wise-cracking, tap-happy Puck, and most outstandingly, M.J. Seiber's award-worthy, hilarious and well-wrought Bottom. Seiber particularly makes a contribution to the show that is lacking in many areas of the production.
I do not mean to offend, but of one thing I am sure. If I ever say "I never miss a Nir Sadovnik musical," be assured I say that with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Seattle Shakespeare Company through May 21st, 2017, at the Cornish Playhouse, 201 Mercer St, Seattle WA. For tickets or information contact the Seattle Shakespeare Company box office at 206-733-8222 or visit them online at www.seattleshakespeare.org