Not About Nightingales's James Black and the Alley's Resident Company of actors bring to life the dream-like ambience of William Shakespeare's classic comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Houston theatre's 2000-01 season opener, opening Oct. 11 on the Large Stage. Performances began Oct. 6 for a run through Nov. 4. Alley artistic director Gregory Boyd directs.
Perhaps Shakespeare's most beloved comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream pits the mischievous fairies of the forest against a group of ordinary lovers, who fall in and out of love with the wrong partners before finding their true match. Director Boyd has chosen to focus on the comedy's dream-ish quality, questioning what is reality and what is not.
Black plays Bottom, the aspiring actor turned into an ass. A Midsummer Night's Dream also features James Belcher (Egeus, Snout), Chris Henry Coffey (Lysander), Elizabeth Heflin (Hippolyta, Titania), Laura Heisler (Hermia), Paul Hope (Starveling), Charles Krohn (Quince), Teri Lamm (Helena), Ty Mayberry (Demetrius), David Rainey (Snug), Jonathan Scarfe (Puck, Philostrate), John Tyson (Flute) and Todd Waite (Theseus, Oberon).
The design team has two Tony Award winners, Judy Dolan and Chris Parry with sets by Vince Mountain (Jekyll & Hyde) and Malcolm Nicholls (sound).
Special to the production will be local rock singer-songwriter Joe Stein, who provides Dream's original score and performs it live on stage during the play. The 28 year old Stein is making his theatrical debut, but not his musical one - he has already crafted two CDs, "In the Time of the Home Parade" and "Please Forward" and a third, "Marionette," will be released during Dream's run. There is even a special discount for Stein's Houston's fans. Mentioning his latest CD at the Alley Theatre box office can get a two-for-one ticket deal, the day of performance only. Ticket limit is two per person and Friday and Saturday evening performances are not available. The offer is only good through Oct. 22.
Tickets to A Midsummer Night's Dream are $49-$19. The Alley Theatre is located at 615 Texas Avenue. For reservations, call (713) 228-8421 or (800) 259-ALLE. The Alley Theatre is on the web at http://www.alleytheatre.com.
-- By Christine Ehren