Once upon a time, there was a playwright named Will. He wrote a bunch of plays that are not the subject of this blog.
Once upon a time, there was a Kid who had two parents who went to one of Will’s plays. More like one and a half of Will’s plays since there was a play and a play within the play. Which was playful.
Cincinnati Shakespeare in the Park came to Blue Ash last night. #cincyshakespark
Lovely evening, lovely company, great production, free Shakespeare. What more could you ask for in August? (Don’t answer that.)
The play in question: Midsummer Night’s Dream. You’ll be glad to know neither Dad nor I dreamed during the play.
To summarize the play (because you should know these things as a well-educated college student type person):
Once upon a time (I may have mentioned that part, but it’s worth repeating), there was a dude named Theseus who killed the minotaur and fell in love with Hippolyta, the #1 Amazon. That part is absolutely true. I know because I read The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea. And as we know, if it’s in a book it must be true. Somehow Will turned Theseus into a Duke which is wrong but really isn’t important. What is important is that the Duke is getting married (to the aforementioned Hippolyta) and a lot of people hang around when royals get married.
In the hanging around group: Hermia, daughter of Egeus (who is the walking embodiment of a pig-headed, unenlightened father). Egeus wants Hermia to marry Demetrius; Hermia thinks that’s about the worst idea on the planet since she’s crazy in love with Lysander. Luckily, Lysander loves her. Unluckily, the law at that time was in favor of girls doing what papa said. To round things out, Helena is in love with Demetrius who is inconveniently in love with Hermia. Are you keeping up?
Meanwhile, a bunch of tradesmen (yes, men) from the village decide to put on a play to entertain the Duke, et al. They plan to act out over act a production of Pyramus and Thisbe (which is a version of boy-loves-girl, boy thinks girl’s dead, boy kills self, girl wasn’t dead but corrects that when she finds dead boy. Think Romeo and Juliet except shorter and with a lion). The most important overactor is Bottom. A word that is funnier when said by a Minion than when said by a Shakespearean actor.
Meanwhile (keep up—you’re smart), the fairies are having a tiff. And by “tiff” I mean the king of the fairies is having a spat with the queen of the fairies. Because having a tiff is not something men do well, the king and Puck (a mischievous fairy) cause a great deal of mischief. The king sends Puck zooming around the world to get a flower. Not just any flower, but a magic flower that (when applied to sleeping eyes) causes the person to fall in love with the first living thing they see when they wake up. (NOTE: Best zooming we’ve seen in a long time.)
The fairies are in the forest. The actors meet in the forest to rehearse. Meanwhile (yes, the main theme is “meanwhile”), Hermia and Lysander go to the forest to elope. This is (of course) nuts since everyone knows you elope with a ladder not a forest. My guess is Will still had forest scenery left over from the whole Birnam Wood thing.
Everyone goes running around the forest. Puck gives Bottom an ass’s head and the fairy queen falls in love (temporarily) with Ass-Topped Bottom. Detmetrium and Lysander both fall in love with Helena (which does not amuse Hermia in the least). Eventually Puke fixes things so everyone is in love with who they are supposed to be in love with. Everyone thinks they’ve had weird dreams (hence the title), so they get married.
Important quote #1: What fools these mortals be. Which people quote all the time.
Important quote #2: And though she be but little, she is fierce. This is important because Grandpa used to quote this at me. What with my fierceness and vertical-challenged-ness.
Important quote #3: Yark! I’m getting bitten by mosquitoes! Dad and I stayed at the amphitheater to chat for a bit and got chomped.
Kuddos to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company which you can find in the park every now and then and at CincyShakes.com always.