May 13th, 2004

autumnleaf

A merrier hour was never wasted

Went to see justom's play. Which is one of those things like "Bits and Pieces" which isn't necessarily indicative of any particular time.

I've seen a lot of productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, from the dark and brooding ART production a month or so ago to the Shakespeare Ensemble to two movies - and this is the first time it's actually been a comedy. Okay, the amateur actors are always funny, but the rest of the play is all about "Woe! The tragedy that is my life that you do not love me!" or perhaps "Woe! The tragedy that is my life that you pretend you love me!". This time, it was funny, mostly because of the non-dialogue shtick. The woman playing Hermia is funny before she ever has a line, just exuding annoyance at Demetrius and smacking him when he gets too forward. Oberon is smug in pink-and-blue sunglasses as he contemplates the mischief he causes, and Puck (justom) is nearly a cartoon character in wordless expressiveness. Oberon is bored enough to do a crossword puzzle when Titania talks about her lost bosom friend, the mother of the Indian boy. A fairy draws a moustache on Bottom with an eyebrow pencil. Demetrius and Lysander get in a shoving match while Helena and Hermia trade insults. Okay, Shakespeare got some laughs too, the insults are great ("You acorn!" is up there with "What, you egg!"), and I don't think it's possible to do an unfunny final performance of Pyramus and Thisbe. But they made the rest of it a comedy, too, and I really did enjoy it a lot more than the morose lesson on the immorality of mind control that I saw last time. Even if last time had fairies on wires.
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    amused amused