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A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Mobile Unit)

From 8 critic and 13 member reviews
Members say: Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Clever, Funny

About the show

This fall, a classic New York City block party becomes the enchanted setting where fairies work their mischief in the Mobile Unit's take on Shakespeare’s beloved comedy.


Four young New Yorkers discover the course of true love runs anything but smooth, as supernatural sprites and the lovable Puck conspire to reveal what fools we mortals be, and draw us all into the collective dream of romance and merriment.

Now in its eighth year, the Mobile Unit meets audiences where they are by presenting Shakespeare and other works in recreation centers, prisons, senior centers, schools, and other community gathering places across the five boroughs, before ending their run at the Public.

Front Row Center

"This is 90 minutes of non-stop hilarity. It’s a good, crazy, dancing time at the theatre and it’s Shakespeare. If you have a friend who has been hesitant about going to see Shakespeare, this is the play you have to take them to...But mostly, take yourself for some fun and respite from this crazy time we are living in. The cast in this 90-minute workout are a wonderfully diverse toe-tapping, knee-slapping fantastically talented troupe of thespians. AND IT’S FREE!" Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“A delightful production...MU productions usually succeed on the strength of its dedicated actors, who bring so much heart and good will to their many roles: MU veteran Smith is the standout in the company because of his consistency and ability to add unexpected dimension to secondary and even tertiary roles...Director Jenny Koons has adeptly continued the spirit of the Mobile Unit, making the play into a party...Once again the Mobile Unit has managed to exceed expectations.” Full Review

Fordham Observer

“An explosion of joy and laughter, bewitched by a cast of New Yorkers dedicated to the art of translation, to the task of bringing the wonderful absurdities of Shakespearean comedy to audiences of diverse providence, and the brightest example of The Public Theater’s founding mission...Technically, this is a bare-bones production...But director Koons’ agile cast fills this stage with an energy and richness able to occupy any amphitheater." Full Review


“Though it is far from your conventional ‘Dream’ the Public Theater's Mobile Unit production has gritty New York flavor and gives fresh proof that the Man-from-Avon travels well...Koons, who directs with a playful hand, has a terrific company to help her pull off her urban vision...An ensemble who can all boogie and breathe out their iambic pentameters with equal grace...This new mobile production has deservingly carved out its own niche.” Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

“A cast of lively young talents who know how to get a party started...Just about anyone can enjoy Koons' furiously fast staging, which submerges the play's lyricism and subterranean melancholy for anarchic farce...Everyone...handles the verse with dexterity and wit...This one is just for fun, but the fun is plentiful, and it is a golden opportunity to check out new faces whom you are certain to be seeing more of in the future.” Full Review


"The comical romance is fun, but the production really takes off with the entrance of the ragtag collection of local amateur actors preparing a dramatization of the tragic romance of Pyramus and Thisbe...Confetti, soap bubbles and the occasional dance break add to the merriment, ending with audience members being invited to snack on free cookies and boogie with the cast." Full Review

New York Stage Review

“I found myself entranced...It was magical...The boom box, milk crates, and too-darn-catchy songs are your first clues that this is more ‘A Midsummer Night’s’ Block Party. The lights are bright and the vibe is super-chill...Brava to Koons for staging possibly the best-slash-worst ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ ever...This ‘Midsummer’ ends with a dance party to the tune of Bruno Mars...To quote Bruno, they set this party off right.” Full Review

The New York Times

"Amazingly, Jenny Koons’s perkily ramshackle production manages to keep the energy up for the next 90 minutes. As a result, quite a bit is lost in the rush, from chunks of text to nuance — this is not the most polished Shakespeare you’ll ever see, or even in the top 20. But like a fair number of productions from the Public’s Mobile Unit, the show has a likable messy élan that compensates for many sins." Full Review

Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Refreshing, Quirky

See it if you enjoy Mobile Unit shows, short to the point version of Shakespeare, or want to see delightful & funny script performed by great cast!

Don't see it if you’re not a fan of Shakespeare or his language, or if you don’t like minimal staging and costumes or intimate shows.

Entertaining, Delightful, Intelligent, Fun

See it if you like quirky Shakespeare on budget, the actors are fresh and give it there all

Don't see it if you don't like being a part of the show cause that's what it feels like!

Clever, Great acting, Funny, Hilarious, Fluffy

See it if They do a good job of making Shakespeare accessible. Even if you have trouble keeping track of the dialog, give this troupe a chance.

Don't see it if You don't like overacting or whatever you might call it.

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Hilarious

See it if You enjoy Shakespeare done right. Taking only the best moments and cutting it into a tight 90 minutes of hilarity.

Don't see it if You don't like to laugh, have fun, or like your Shakespeare parred down to the best bits.

Chaotic, Crazy, Fine acting, Entertaining, Good rollicking fun

See it if you love Shakespeare ( even when it's transported to NYC); you love the Public Theater & it's great outreach company; you want to have fun

Don't see it if you need your Shakespeare straight; don't care to be up close & personal with a rollicking cast of great performers

Also Bubbles, balloons, confetti, raggedy thrift store costumes ...and cook... Read more Read less

Broad humor, Strong acting, Heavily cut text, Energetic, Clever

See it if you'd like an accessible, lively, engaging, funny version of MSND. Because of many cuts, helps to know the plot. Many delightful flourishes.

Don't see it if you like your Shakesp traditional. Humor (not emotion) is emphasized. Fun dancing before/after...and snacks! Public's mobile unit delivers.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Masterful

See it if If you want a bare bones show that is well done.

Don't see it if If you want a big production. An exotic production.

Entertaining, Delightful, Short, Great fairies

See it if you’ll take a merry jaunt through an NYC forest w/ Mobile Unit’s favorite jesters (Christopher Ryan Grant! David Ryan Smith!)

Don't see it if you want a Midsummer that’s deep, complex, etc. This holds your attention with one bright, shiny object/punchline after another.

Also A lot of the poetic lines have been cut and the plot seems even more h... Read more Read less

Quirky, Delightful, Direct, Stripped-down, Fun

See it if you would like to watch a diverse and energetic cast tackle a Shakespearean classic, with simpler "DYI" staging and production.

Don't see it if you need ornate sets and elaborate costumes.

Clever, Delightful, Funny

See it if Enjoy a lean fast moving light hearted and accessible production of MSD. Have never seen MSD. Enjoy great dialogue and a fun plot.

Don't see it if Want a more complex staging and performance. Want to see the subtleties of MSD explored. Don't like MSD or have seen it many times.

During previews
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Clever

See it if You love quirky Shakespeare on a shoestring budget; stellar up-and-coming actors excite you; you need a joyful, feel-good night out.

Don't see it if You already hate Midsummer or Shakespeare. This one’s for the fans.

Also There aren’t many Midsummers nowadays that let the text really shine —... Read more Read less

During previews
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You like fun riotous Shakespeare,yet still faithful. This moved quickly & remained completely understandable. Likely the best MobileUnit yet

Don't see it if You want Shakespeare 100% sticking to the original, but still check it out anyway, you'll change your mind

Also Wasn't at all hard to follow like past Mobile Units have been. Midsumm... Read more Read less

During previews
Clever, Profound, Great acting

See it if In an intimate atmosphere, they develop masterfully this classic with a twist

Don't see it if You don't like to be very close to the show, you are almost a part of it!