Mar. 22nd, 2017

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 I have been so busy lately that I haven't had a chance to report back here!  So I will try to catch by covering two Shakespeare plays I saw this month--last week's Midsummer Night's Dream  at the Arden and this week's Coriolanus at the Lantern.  Both were worth seeing, but I liked Midsummer better.  

20 years ago, Arden's Midsummer introduced a cast that became acting royalty in Philadelphia. Now, 20 years later, they billed the new Midsummer as introducing the next generation to take Philly by storm.  I'd seen a lot of the cast in recent productions, but they came together wonderfully in a grand version of the great Shakespeare trickster play, this time set in a down-homey Arden with blue-grassy music created for the production.  

Mary Tuomanen, who played Puck, and Dan Hodge, who played Bottom, were my favorites, but the whole cast was excellent. The parallel relationships between Titania and Oberon and Hippolyta and Theseus are always a part of the play, but in this version you really felt the mirroring of those fraught emotions.  Very good.  And the music was fun.



camille_bacon_smith: (Default)
 In my previous post, I talked about Midsummer Night's Dream at the Arden Theater.  This post is about the Lantern Theater Company's Coriolanus.  

It was not my favorite Shakespeare this month.  I did like the contemporary costumes that brought the play into a contemporary political context, but it seemed more focused on tricks--CNN-like screens, lots of rushing around and overwhelming sound effects--than actually enunciating the lines, so it was hard to follow if you hadn't seen other versions of the play. 

The second half was better than the first half, because they slowed down the gosh-wow externals and focused more on characters for the drama.  Midsummer worked better overall for me, but it was an afternoon well spent.

Both plays are still playing, so go!  Then tell me what you thought of them!

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