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Date: Fri 02-Jul-1999

Date: Fri 02-Jul-1999

Publication: Bee

Author: SARAH

Quick Words:

Sherman-Shakespeare-Midsummer

Full Text:

THEATRE REVIEW: The One Regret Over Sherman's Dream? It Doesn't Have A Longer

Run

(with cut)

By June April

SHERMAN -- Shakespeare would have delighted in the production of A Midsummer

Night's Dream now in performances at Sherman Playhouse. Director Jane Farnol

has successfully combined whimsy with creative staging and some utterly

wonderful casting.

The shining star in the production is the lovely and talented Jessica Durdock,

who plays the impish Puck. At 16 years of age, Miss Durdock's skill as a

dancer and actress are already brightly visible. Just to see her is worth

going to this delightful production.

Also offering a stellar performance is Viv Berger, who is perfectly cast as

the irrepressible weaver Nick Bottom. His timing and accent make for a most

gratifying experience.

The nine children who play the fairies are charming, especially Jessica

Granger as Peaseblossom and Kyle Ward as Cobweb.

For a small, amateur theatre, the production excels. It is superior to almost

any other production this reviewer has ever enjoyed. A large measure of credit

goes to Alpha Castro for the magical costumes of the spirits and forest folk.

Complementing the wonderful costumes is an equally imaginative and appropriate

set. Designed by Jane Farnol and Irit Granger, the set decoration was headed

by Alisyn Hamilton, with assistance from about a dozen people.

The set allowed for gymnastic and frenetic actions, which added an appropriate

quality of spirited urgency to the production. Adam Battlestein could

gracefully move through the branches as the regal Oberon, King of the Fairies.

Along with his hobgoblin Puck they run and bound, hither and yon, dispensing

magical potions to alter the course of true love run afoul.

As in his play Hamlet , Shakespeare also has a play going on within the play.

A group of workers, who are referred to as "The Rustics," go to the forest to

rehearse a play that would be part of the entertainment for the wedding of

Theseus the Duke of Athens and his betrothed, Hippolyta. Their efforts are

endearing and delightfully funny, for one and all.

There is a strong and special sense of cooperation and commitment to this

little theatre. It began as one family's interest in supporting their

daughter's love of drama and dance. Mrs Betsy Scholze, Alice and Walter Evans'

granddaughter is still carrying on her heritage tradition, not as an actor,

but now as the treasurer of Sherman Playhouse.

The continued full houses testify both to the reputation of the quality of

their choices, and also to the community support. A Midsummer Night's Dream is

truly for all ages. It is perfect for families to enjoy and a great way to

introduce young people to fine theatre. It is only regrettable that this

production is not running longer.

(The Sherman Players production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

plays Friday and Saturday nights at 8:30 through July 3. The theatre is

located behind Sherman Firehouse at the junction of routes 37 and 39.

Tickets are $12 or adults, $10 for students and senior citizens. For

additional information and reservations call the box office at 860/354-3622.)