It's not midsummer - more like midfall - and the Dream is coming to end for Not About Nightingales's James Black and the Alley's Resident Company of actors. William Shakespeare's classic comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream ends its run on the Houston theatre's Large Stage Nov. 4. Performances began Oct. 6 with an opening Oct. 11. 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. 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