While Philadelphia's American Music Theatre Festival is wrapping up the East Coast premiere of Another Midsummer Night Mar. 9, TheatreWorks of Palo Alto, CA, is opening the West Coast premiere of this musical, running Mar. 5-Apr. 9.
Jeffrey Lunden and Arthur Perlman's musical loosely based on William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream,takes place in present-day Central Park, where a video performance artist accidentally re-awakens Titania and Oberon, Puck and the Fairies who have been sleeping for 400 years, thereby setting the plot once again in motion, this time with four contemporary lovers. An extensive video installation and flying by Foy are part of the production.
The AMTF show opened Feb. 19, and stars Jennifer Lee Andrews as Helen and Karen Murphy as Titania, with Michael X. Martin as Oberon, and Robert Mammana as Larry (yes, Larry). The Goodman Theatre's Michael Maggio directs, with choreography by John Caraffa.
Also appearing in the musical in Philadelphia are Joe Cassidy (Dan), Jennifer Rosin (Heather), Marcy Harriell, Jolie Jenkins, John Lathan (Puck), Bryan T. Donovan (Pete), and Seanna Kofoed (Fran). Sybyl Walker plays performance artist, Nicki Patos - the musical's equivalent to Shakespeare's Bottom.
In Palo Alto, Midsummer, officially opening March 8, is directed by artistic director Robert Kelley and runs in rep with TW's Camping With Henry & Tom. The Palo Alto cast includes cabaret artist Darlene Popovic, Livia Genise, Michael Page, Michael Edo Keane, Nicholas Smith, Bill Quinlan, Elizabeth Traub and Chanelle Schaffer.
Lunden (music) and Perlman (book/lyrics) were the authors (with Arthur Kopit) of the highly regarded Wings which started in Chicago and played at the Public Theatre two years ago. Another Midsummer Night also originated at the Goodman, in 1995. This East Coast premiere has been reworked by the authors. Songs from the show include "We Call On The Fairies," "It's Love, I Think," "The Music Of Love," "The Taste Of Revenge," "Transform-ed," "Everything's Changed" and "A Midsummer Dream."
Another Midsummer Night closes March 9 at AMTF's Plays & Players Theatre on Delancey Street. For tickets ($17-$27.50) and information call (215) 893-1570.
For tickets ($20-$28) or more information on Theatre Works' staging of Night call (415) 903-6000.