Saturday, July 23, 2005

# Posted 11:09 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S BLOG: If you love Shakespeare and happen to find yourself anywhere near central Virginia, I passionately recommend paying a visit to the Barboursville Vineyards in order to enjoy an outdoor performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Before the show starts, you are encouraged to have a picnic dinner on the Barboursville grounds. There are also wines for sale from the vineyard. The show itself takes place amidst the ruins of the Barbour mansion, designed by Thomas Jefferson for Virginia Gov. and Sen. James Barbour.

But enough about the setting. As Shakespeare might have said, the play's the thing. And it is a wonderful production. The acting was superb. The ruins provide an intimate performance space and the actors fully engaged the audience. The laughter continued throughout the play.

Some of that laughter is to the credit of the playwright. But I think that the players themselves (and the director) deserve it even more, since they truly brought Shakespeare alive. One might say that it was a production of Shakespeare in the spirit of Groucho Marx. Although it is often hard for modern audiences to the humor in 16th century vintage iambic pentameter, this production brings out the best.

How? Much of the answer is physical. Shakespeare may have left us brilliant plays, but this production uses constantly innovative body language to bring out the meaning of the text. And the comic timing of the actors is superb. Yet in spite of this innovation, I found the players to be wholly true to the spirit of the play.

As I said, if you find yourself anywhere near central Virginia on Friday, Saturday or Sunday evening, go see this play!
(0) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments: Post a Comment