A Midsummer Night’s Dream

UIC Theater, 1044 W. Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois

I went to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the UIC Theater today. Our university has a theater department, so I like to go see plays that they stage. I usually go to the afternoon performances because I like going to the theater in the afternoon. That’s not the usual time to go see a play. Unless you’re going on a school field trip. In fact, the theater is usually filled with students who come on school field trips. And they usually enjoy the plays presented. I’m not sure if they actually like the plays or they’re just happy to be away from their school. I enjoy the plays because I get to stay at UIC a little longer.

Of course, I also love Shakespeare! I had just seen the movie version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream a few weeks ago. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, this live performance topped the movie! Watching actors perform in the flesh is always much better. These actors were very professional and delivered convincing performances.

I loved the music they added to the performance. It was fitting because they conveyed the dream theme. From the Eurythmics to Lady Gaga. The Flower Duet by Leo Delibes was also very well-placed. They also played Louis Armstrong, Nessun Dorma. I really can’t remember all the songs they played, but I really enjoyed them in the context of the play.

They were true to the Shakespeare’s words, but they used modern gestures to express themselves, much to the audience’s delight. My favorite was when Oberon hit Demetrius and then does the Sammy Sosa post-homerun celebratory gestures. The audience roared  at this! I loved how director Karen Kessler focused on the comedy aspect of the play. This updated version was hilarious and the audience laughed in all the right places. I laughed so loud and so hard that I was glad my sons weren’t with me to tell me, “Dad, you’re embarrassing us”!

R & G Are Dead

1044 W. Harrison Street, Chicago, Illinois

Today I went to the UIC Theater to see Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I really wasn’t sure what to expect because I had no idea what the play was about other than I knew that the title characters came from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Well, last week I saw Hamlet at the UIC Theater and I liked the production so much that I decided that I would see Stoppard’s play today. Okay, so I’ll never make a living writing reviews, but I thought today’s play started out rather slowly. There were some witty interchanges between Rosencrantz and Guildernstern, but sometimes it didn’t hold my interest. Well, I actually dozed off for a couple minutes in the beginning of the play. I supposed it wouldn’t have been so bad if I weren’t sitting in the very front row in the middle right in front of the actors. So there I was front and center. When I woke up, Rosencrantz was staring at me. I felt so embarrassed! After that I tried not to fall asleep again. But I dozed off again–at least two more times. However, no actor noticed me this time. So about the play, well, since it is a spinoff of Hamlet and it was also produced by the UIC theater department, I was happy to see the same actors reappear. Some of Hamlet’s scenes were repeated for Stoppard’s play. It was very interesting, even though I fell asleep a few times.

To be or not to be Rosencrantz and Guildenstern!