Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shakespeare on the Sound – Only One More Tomorrow

We braved the 80% chance of rain to check out the second to last Greenwich Shakespeare on the Sound performance, and it was a good bet. We were apprehensive when the actors emerged like an ad for Banana Republic, but ten minutes into the production, we were won over by the competent acting and the fresh adaptation.

The serpentine stage did come along to Greenwich. It was a modern take on performance in the round and meant there were no truly bad seats. Another plus: the architecture of the stage allowed the actors to jump into the trees, which they did effectively to amp up mysterious or comedic scenes.

Nick Bottom (Ty Jones) made the show (you called it, Chris Preovolos). Jones is a guy with funny oozing out of every pore. When he’s transformed into an ass with gold rimmed goggles and slip-on hooves, he plays it as a mix between the naïve/egocentric Tracey Jordan and Shrek’s neurotic/charming donkey sidekick. He was magnetic, mirthful and marvelous. More than just comic relief though, Jones’ remarkable singing voice was as good in a bluesy ballad as it was in a sugary love song.

Titania/Hyppolyta (Doan Ly) was an elegant and powerful stage presence. When she proclaimed that she was a “spirit of no common rate,” I believed her. She was relatable too. What woman hasn’t had this same experience: “Me thought I was enamored of an ass.” Oberon/Theseus (Michael Solis) gave a strong performance singing the praises of flower-based narcotics. He reminded me of the mystical and evil David Bowie in Labyrinth (minus the giant hair). Helena (Gretchen Hall) mastered the embarrassing desperation of her part. The music is also worth mentioning. It kept some of the airy fairy qualities intrinsic to A Midsummer Night’s Dream but included a contemporary flare. I particularly enjoyed the 70s soft core porn music accompanying the Lysander/Helena drug induced love-at-first sight scene.

Sunday is the last performance. Bring your wine, your cheese - even your kids - and check it out before they pack it up.

1 comment:

Chris Preovolos said...

You're right, the costumes were very Banana Republic. Except for the one guy wearing calf-length Dickies shorts. That's some straight cholo s--- right there. He shoulda had a hairnet and some Nike Cortezs to go with!