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  Play Details

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 East Grand Avenue Chicago

On the heels of his critically acclaimed production of As You Like It, CST Associate Artistic Director Gary Griffin takes on Shakespeare's most popular comedy, in which a quartet of mismatched lovers and a gaggle of hapless actors cross paths with the king and queen of the fairies, entangled in their own domestic dispute. A wondrous wood brimming with paramours and possibilities sets the scene for Shakespeare's spectacular tale, exploring the inexplicable magic of falling in love—and the wonder of waking up from the sweetest of dreams.

Thru - Apr 8, 2012



Price: $44-$75

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 312-595-5600

Running Time: 2hrs, 25mins; one intermission

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  A Midsummer Night's Dream Reviews

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Bottom is quick with a compensatory joke, and when he's being played by Ron Orbach, as he is in Gary Griffin's fast-paced and lively new production of William Shakespeare's comedy at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, those gags are full-throated. But in that one moving second, before his defenses go back up, Bottom becomes a stand-in for every man, and every woman, who has dared to believe in the redemptive possibility of out-of-our-league love, while simultaneously holding back the terrifying fear that this is all just a dream that could end, like the life of a now-lost loved one, or the very breath we take ourselves, at any moment, surely not of our own choosing. That crucial poignancy, that awareness of a deeper human fragility, is what's missing from both this moment and, taken as a whole, this entire production."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...Ron Orbach is a delight as Nick Bottom, the weaver and enthusiast who finds his inner theatrical ham, with Tim Kazurinsky spot-on as the nervous carpenter-turned-producer, Levenix Riddle a comic charmer as Bottom’s genteel southern black lady love, and Michael Aaron Lindner, Rod Thomas and Richard Manera as their fellow tradesmen (or “mechanicals”). Griffin has also ingeniously turned their play into a little musical, with a beguiling country music “score” by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen, and delicious vocal harmonizing courtesy of the actors."
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Hedy Weiss


NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...A slight script reordering gives the rude mechanicals, led by the swaggering Bottom (an instantly likeable Ron Orbach), more prominence by introducing them before the members of the court, and turning the scrappy troupe of actors into a musical group allows harmonized singing and instrumentation to raise the profile of the final “so bad it’s good” play within a play so that it’s clear why the duke enjoys it so much. Opening and closing nods to Freud feel somewhat shoe-horned in, but work nicely as bookends."
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Zach Freeman


Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Elizabeth Ledo, despite a voice suffering under the weather on opening night, all but stole the show, playing a grotesque and thoroughly charming Puck, and Timothy Edward Kane, fresh from his marathon performance in An Iliad, had yet to find Oberon's psychological center. Nevertheless, when an audience—on a rainy night, yet—enjoys itself as enthusiastically as that who cheered and applauded each individual episode in this 400-year-old fable, there can be no doubt that Griffin's revitalizing wizardry has triumphed once again."
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Mary Shen Barnidge


Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"... There is not one false note in Chicago Shakes’ gorgeous, expansive, warm-hearted production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Under the guidance of director Gary Griffin, the talented cast approaches Shakespeare’s play with overflowing energy and wit. Despite the fact that this is one of Shakespeare’s best-known comedies, every moment feels new."

Laura Kolb


Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"... Once we enter the forest, Griffin’s production comes to lush life. Mike Tutaj’s projections of magnified textures and swirling lights suggest the magic at hand, while Titania’s fairies —played by the same actors who portray the mechanicals—sport striped pajamas and gaudy headdresses worthy of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The lovers amusingly break out of their restraints under the influence of fairy magic, and Griffin finds some inspired bits, as when Puck slyly undresses them one by one while he puts them to sleep. If the production doesn’t exactly innovate, well, sometimes a Dream is just a Dream."
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Kris Vire


Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"... So in director Gary Griffin’s bold, psychologically layered and enchanting take on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Chicago Shakespeare Theater, set in 1920, who should be the first character we lay eyes on but that cigar-puffing dream surgeon, Dr. Freud. Not to worry, though, Griffin hasn’t inserted the psychoanalyst into Shakespeare’s play. Freud’s appearance is, let’s say, prefatory – and quite amusing."
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Lawrence B. Johnson


Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"...Griffin paces it for non-stop laughs. The merrymaking ensemble swirls and twirls through the madcap romances. This show charms with frolicsome fun! A Midsummer’s Night Dream is a sweet comedy!"

Katy Walsh


ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...What can I add except that Chicago Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a family-friendly comedy that is a perfect first Shakespeare experience for young folks. Kane, Ledo and Orbach lead the gifted cast on their dream adventure."
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Tom Williams


Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...As always with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, if the look fits, the sounds are equally apt. Griffin, an actors’ director from the first water, has found the right people to make the right moves, beginning with Timothy Edward Kane, whose Theseus perfectly distils the wonderful speech about the ties that bind lovers, lunatics and poets. Tracy Michelle Arnold’s Hippolyta blends regality and mythology in every stately gesture. Doubling as the fairy feuders Titania and Oberon, they also seem to italicize the poetry."

Lawrence Bommer


Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Very often, we are asked to see plays that we have reviewed many times before, but one of the wonders of live theater is that each venue and each director’s interpretation of the same script, makes for a new look. Thus is the case with the current production of William Shakespeare’s classic comedy,”A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, now on the stage at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. Under the slick direction of Gary Griffin, who has assembled an “ace” cast of actors, this play takes on a new look, a more modern look and some of the comic highlights are even funnier than in previous productions I have seen."
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Alan Bresloff


   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the opening night judges of The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season.
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