Shakespeare in The Frozen City

Photo: Michael Brosilow/ A Midsummer Night's Dream at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Photo: Michael Brosilow/ A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

A couple of days ago Corey showed me an article dissing Navy Pier for being slightly less than the authentic Chicago experience. While most people I know do not spend their summer days spinning away on the Ferris Wheel (although the Ferris Wheel did debut less than a mile away at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893), Navy Pier actually has a lot to offer to the hardened Chicago citizen (the views alone are almost worth the $20 parking fee). And although I am not a big fan of the place in summer (when tourists from Ohio outnumber Chicagoans at least 80 to 1), on a cold Polar Vortex day in March it felt good looking across the frozen ice to downtown.

The reason we ventured out of our snug little cave was to review Chicago Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Part of the Short Shakespeare! series, the play comes in at 75 minutes and costs $16 -$20 a ticket. For those two things alone (the cost and brevity) I would recommend you exposing the kiddies to some Shakespeare. But the truth of the matter is that this production is actually quite funny. Not “funny for a kid’s rendition of Shakespeare” but funny in the “I forgot I was reviewing the play and laughed harder than I have in some time” way (the review I wrote for Splash is here).

Another reason to recommend this play is the cast. They rock. They don’t just do Shakespeare, they do it well. And the family friendly format, where the cast remains on stage for an extended time after the performance to answer questions, fits them well as they obviously enjoyed being in this production.
Which brings to me back to something that Corey wrote about last week; art needs roots in order to blossom. Sometimes art flourishes in the hard-to-get-to obscure sections of the city or is partially buried amongst the warehouses. Other times it is right under your darn nose in one of the busiest tourist traps known outside of Chicago. Both flowers are worth your time. Noel

Photo by Michael Brosilow. Actor: Alex Wiseman

Photo by Michael Brosilow. Actor: Alex Wiseman

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