Sunday, April 27, 2008

quick mench of seeing Midsummers Night Dream yestreen, traditional day of Shakespeare's death. by way of the homeschool co-op that Erin no longer attends. he initially signed up for the play but he is taking courses at the community college and could not accommodate the play schedule. I have not seen many amateur play productions but it seems like these Shakespeare productions, of which I have seen all five, boast pretty high standards. costumes and scenery are particularly well done. a prologue was included, strictly to satisfy a need for swordplay among the participants. it represented the battle between Theseus and the Amazons. a bit of a gallimaufry but fun to watch. one fellow, after being smited, did a cartwheel. the particular stand outs in the play were the girl--ALMOST 13, as she states in the notes--who played Puck, and the boy, 15, who played Bottom. she enunciated very well, did these great sidelong glances (which were accentuated by makeup) and otherwise fulfilled the role nicely. Bottom, is the troupe founder/director's son. he capably played Romeo last year but Bottom is totally in his wheelhouse. he's a big loud bumptious kid, completely happy to ham it up. all the rude mechanicals were up to the task. the 9 year old girl who played the wall was at least a foot and a half shorter than Bottom/Paramus, which made for good visual humour. a backdrop tumbled toward the audience but the prompter caught it. later, during the performance of Thisby and Paramus, another chunk of the set fell, but the mechanicals caught it, and Bottom said, 'we're not trying to destroy your house'. Bottom's brother, 10, played Thisby, and used a ridiculously effective falsetto. I do not know if the mechanicals could be made any funnier. I think the director wanted Erin to play Thisby, which would have been another effective sight gag. we've never seen the alternate production, but it would be interesting. stars in one production get minor roles in the other. interesting to compare. the young son of friends of ours, with the sterling name of Kempton, played the Indian boy. someone held his hand thru out, elsewise, no doubt, he'd wander off, or something. he and his family were at the halloween party we attended last year, at the home of the play's director. this little fellow spent the evening wandering around. he wore a pirate outfit and carried a sword and a flashlight, indoors and out. at one point, people had gathered around the tv, because the Red Sox were playing the Rockies in maybe the last game of the World Series. Kempton sat all piratey on a hassock up close to the tv, fully rapt. wonderful picture.
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