Best Shakespeare Production (2008)

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Colorado Shakespeare Festival

Within the magical A Midsummer Night's Dream, realities dissolve and two pairs of lovers are bamboozled by fairies into losing track of their original alliances and switching partners again and again. The interrelated themes are that love is crazy and lovers blind, that we all live in a world of illusion, and that theater itself mirrors this shifting, upside-down universe. At the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, director Gavin Cameron-Webb set these shenanigans on a stage within a stage, and the design was simple, elegant and workable. The actors were all convincing, and they didn't attempt English accents or pound away at the humor and exaggerate the sentiment as so many Shakespearean performers do. As a result, you heard the lines clearly — and since A Midsummer Night's Dream is filled with poetry, that clarity made the production sing.

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