William Shakespeare's classic comedy, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," currently being presented by the Fullerton College Theatre Arts Department, is the type of dream that we should all wake up to sometime or another.
As a dream "Midsummer" has all the perfect qualities. It combines racy, risque sexual antics, with a mysterious, surrealistic backdrop.
As a play presentation, it too is near perfection. Costumes, music, lighting and scenic background are all done superbly. Combining that with well done, hilarious acting performances by the cast of "Midsummer" make it a must to catch.
Perhaps, more than anything else one of the main reasons to attend "Midsummer" is the extraordinary costumes and scenery found in the play.
Done by Todd Glenn, the costumes are either beautiful copies of Athenian dress, the time period in which the play is set, or in the case of the many wood spirits, a great, outlandish explosion of color and swirling material.
As for the scenery, Bob Jensen's set designs project just the right atmosphere. For instance, the forest sets give one the dark, dreamy feeling of being in the woods without using any of the typical props.
The lighting and audio designs are also quite effective, giving the play that dreamy quality that it needs.
The play itself is a spicy, delightful Shakespearean comedy that finds a young girl, Hermi a, deeply in love with Lysander; however as in any good love story her father is against it. Instead her father wishes her to marry a young man, Demetrius, who is all for the plan except that Helena, another young lady, is madly in love with him.
Rather than be forced to marry Demetrius, Hermia and Lysander decide to run off into the woods. They are naturally joined there by Demetrius and Helena. They aren't alone, though, as they are surrounded by a multitude of wood spirits.
Leading the wood spirits is Puck, impishly played by Mark Vincent Nordike, who despite all his good intentions leads things amiss. Rather than making Hermia fall madly in love with Lysander and Demetrius with Helena, as his king, Oberon, (Scott Johnson) has ordered, we find the situation just the opposite.
Lysander, played by John Cruz, is now head over heels in love with Helena, done by Catherine McAuley, whose hilariously risque performance is one of the show's standouts.
Demetrius, played with just the right touch of machismo by Adrian, is also in love with Helena now. Helena should be quite happy, except that she suspects a plot against her and blames poor Hermia, feisty played by Nancy McKee, whose is loved by no one at the moment.
Puck who, aided by Nordike's obvious dancing expertise, seemingly glides along on the air, also manages to mess up the romance between Oberon and his fairy queen Titania, played by Kimberly Dimmick. Titania rather than falling in love with Oberon instead falls for an ass.
The ass, who in his original form is Nick Bottom the carpenter, is performed by Jim Landis. Landis along
with the rest of his rag-tag bunch of friends provide the play with some side-splitting slapstick comedy.
All in all, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a delightfully well performed play that if you have unfortunately not seen yet, can still be caught Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 in the Campus Theatre.