A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Little Lake Theatre Co. | Theater | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Little Lake Theatre Co. 

Troupe often hits the heights in Shakespeare’s fantasy

James Curry (left) and Eric Leslie in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Little Lake

Photo courtesy of James Orr

James Curry (left) and Eric Leslie in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Little Lake

On a cool autumn evening it can be fun to luxuriate in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Little Lake Theatre Co. Artistic director Jena Oberg directs an ambitious production of Shakespeare’s frothy fantasy that often, but not always, hits the heights she aims for.

The Dream cast of 20-plus allows the company to showcase its range of actors, from children to seniors. The most glorious is Kaitlin Kerr as Titania, truly the queen of the show as well as the fairies. From her entrance on a beflowered bower to the cooing over her unlikely and literally asinine lover to her ultimate reconciliation with her king, Kerr sparks and sparkles.

The acrobatic James Curry makes a perfect Puck, animating the plot and tweaking the foolish mortals. His fresh-faced satyr bounces, tumbles and seemingly flies when he says he will, his energy unbounded. Oh, and he’s still a senior at Peters Township High School.

But for most amazing, we have Madeline Dalesio as a loquacious and perky fairy totally in tune with the Bard’s rhythms. Not yet into her teens, this established actress also composed the songs she sings (beautifully), and learned how to play the lap harp to accompany herself. I sigh at her résumé.

Also notable are Amanda DeConciliis Weber and Jeff Johnston, double-cast but underused as the noble (yet insignificant) bride and bridegroom and as part of Titania’s band of fairies; Warren Ashburn as the saturnine Peter Quince; and 4-year-old Seth Englesberg, in his theatrical debut, as the Changeling.

So much is right, but a wrong detail can throw a scene awry. For example, Jessica Kavanagh’s costumes are beyond fabulous — staid black-and-white for the court, earthtones (natch) for the woods, glittery and floaty for the fairies — except for the ones that don’t fit. Of course, that suits the mechanicals, those rustic objects of ridicule, but not the lovers and the forest spirits. Still, I admire the range of design, drawing from late Victorian and beyond, and the laces and sumptuous fabrics and much of the workmanship.

While not a totally dream Dream, there’s briskly paced amusement, a lovely minimalist set and a cascade of happy endings.



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