REVIEW ROUNDUP: “A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Public Theater)” Opened with a ShowScore of 84

Show-Score | Aug 1, 2017
“A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Public Theater),” written by William Shakespeare and directed by Lear deBessonet, opened on July 31, 2017 in New York City. “A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Public Theater),” written by William Shakespeare and directed by Lear deBessonet, opened on July 31, 2017 in New York City.


18 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 79.

Jesse Green
The New York Times
ShowScore: 80
"Ms. deBessonet has brought to the play the high spirits and communitarian pageantry that made her previous park embraceable....Unusually well cast, her production is full of sharply etched if sometimes unsubtle comic performances...What the production lacks in depth and subtlety it makes up for in clarity and swiftness...For all that, I missed the moments when, in some productions, Helena’s desperation lands a punch in the gut."

Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 95
"The most fascinating, heartfelt, thoroughly entertaining attraction playing in New York this summer...The Public Theater and director deBessonet emphasize magic and mirth in this vibrant production...Adding to the enjoyment of an already great play are uniformly excellent performances from the cast...The physical comedy is cranked up to a ten...Two-and-a-half hours melt away like a particularly pleasant dream, one from which you feel slightly sad to wake."
Elisabeth Vincentelli
ShowScore: 55
"This resolutely upbeat Shakespeare in the Park production is so broad, you could drive an 18-wheeler through it...The performances are as bright and over-the-top as Clint Ramos’ costumes...After a while, Ashford’s efforts only bring diminishing returns...Nielsen looks uncomfortable with the language and over-relies on her usual bag of tricks...As diverse as this 'Midsummer' looks and sounds, it is uniform in tone, reducing the play to a one-note romp."
“A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Public Theater)” was also reviewed by Adam Feldman of Time Out New York, Jonathan Mandell of New York Theater, Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter, Sara Holdren of New York Magazine / Vulture, Jonathan Spira of Frequent Business Traveler, Erin Kahn of Stage Buddy, Jacob Horn of CurtainUp, David Finkle of The Clyde Fitch Report, Matt Windman of AM New York, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Steven Ross of Front Mezz Junkies, Howard Miller of Talkin' Broadway, Brian Scott Lipton of CitiTour, Robert Kahn of WNBC, and Thom Geier of The Wrap.


The show was also reviewed by 120 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 85.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Funny, Great acting

Stagemaven, ShowScore: 80
See it if…"You enjoy Shakespeare, bayou-inspired music, and a night in the best open-air theater around." 
Don't see it if…"It's a hot night and you don't fare well in the heat. This is the kind of show that has something for everyone!"
Binta B, ShowScore: 85
See it if…"You are looking for a unique take on 'Midsummer' casting-wise; the stars in this show are fantastic, and the staging is a lot of fun." 
Don't see it if…"You want to get home at a reasonable time (it's a commitment!); if you're looking for a traditional cast."
Ninwall, ShowScore: 85
See it if…"You want to see a fun, spirited version of this classic play. Delightfully funny performances, especially Ashford and Burstein. A very entertaining evening."
Don't see it if…"You mind exaggerated mugging, or broad physical humor. I thought this really worked to enhance the show but others may prefer it toned down."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.