WELL met by Moonlight (and mid day) — Midsummer in the Meadow


The Baltimore Shakespeare Factory’s second offering this summer is the Bard’s classic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play runs weekends  until 8/18th in the Meadow at Evergreen Museum on Charles Street, with command performances at Boordy Vineyards on 8/23 and at the company’s winter residence at the Great Hall at St. Mary’s in Hamden on 8/24 and 25.

    Puck (Jenna K. Rossman) puts Lysander (Tanner Medding) into a spell induced slumber.

Puck (Jenna K. Rossman) puts Lysander (Tanner Medding) into a spell induced slumber.

Midsummer is a lovely companion piece to the Factory’s earlier summer production of Hamlet. It is lighter and full of mirth. A sweet ending to a meaty Danish feast.

Much of that mirth is due to two of the players, Jenna Rossman (Puck) and Zach Brewster-Geisz (Nick Bottom). Shakespeare sets Puck and Bottom up as comedy relief and Rossman and Brewster-Geisz steal the show. — I feel for the less raucous (but wonderfully played) lovers and nobles who have to compete with Puck and Bottom for the audience’s attention.

Puck (Jenna K. Rossman) and Oberon (Joel Ottenheimer) control the Meadow -- er -- fairy kingdom.

Puck (Jenna Rossman) and Oberon (Joel Ottenheimer) control the Meadow — er — fairy kingdom.

Rossman’s Puck strutted, preened and danced around like some Isadora Duncan nymph channeling Mick Jagger (in a good way). She seemed to be everywhere. It was a delight to watch her weave her magic both over the characters in the play and over the audience.

Puck and Nick during the post show "cast chat". (Sorry I don't have a better pic of Nick).

Puck and Nick during the post show “Cast Talk”. (Sorry I don’t have a better pic of Bewster-Geisz).

Brewster-Geisz’s Nick Bottom was simply a hoot. It’s a funny part on paper, but Zach really brought Bottom to life. Ever meet some one who thinks they can do everything better than any one else? That’s Nick Bottom. He’s so over the top. It’s just wonderful. Brewster-Geisz’s transformation from the uber confident self-proclaimed leader of the acting troop to the confused donkey-headed man who finds himself the lucky recipient of Titania’s affection is nicely done as well.

Demetrius and Lysander protect Helena from Hermia.

Manly-men Demetrius and Lysander protect Helena from Hermia.

The lovers quartet — Hermia , Lysander, Helena and Demetrius — is also strong. Lisa Davidson, Tanner Medding, Shaina Higgins, and Rick Lyon-Vaiden are in turns earnest, funny, feisty and gob-smack in love — though not always with the right people.

Joel Ottenheimer commands as Oberon

Joel Ottenheimer commands as Oberon

The rest of the cast is tight as well.  Joel Ottenheimer and Laura Rocklyn are noble and appropriately pompous as the Royals (both in the “real” world and in Fairy). Lee Condreacci, as Peter Quince, did her best to keep the players and Nick Bottom under control. Lisa Bryan, Lorriane Imwold, Lonnie DeVaughn Simmons, Emily Sucher and Tegan William are the backbone of the production as they round out the company, each playing multiple roles as fairies and players.

Lisa Davidson playing mandolin and singing during intermission.

Lisa Davidson playing mandolin and singing during intermission.

I love how FACTORY members perform modern music that relates to the show in the pre-show and intermission. It is yet another level on which the players relate to the audience. And it gives us a glimpse at how multi-talented these actors really are.

Post show "Cast Talk"

Post show “Cast Talk”

Be sure to stay after the curtain call for the “Cast Talk” when the cast and directors are happy to answer all questions Shakespearian.

The Baltimore Shakespeare Factory continues its Play On. 4 FREE. 4 Ever. campaign with the goal of bringing Shakespeare to all for free by 2016. To learn how you can help or to get tickets to an upcoming show visit their website at http://theshakespearefactory.com/

Advertisements

About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer and graphic designer in Northern Baltimore County. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (travel and local interest stories.) Most recently my non fiction writing has been featured in Mason-Dixon ARRIVE Magazine. As a graphic designer I focus on cover designs and have done a number of designs for books and magazines. Recently I've entered the e-book cover field. I also enjoy working with community organizations and churches to bring their communications to a higher standard. As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one on one lessons to middle and high school students in graphic design and music. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: