A Midsummer Night's Dream (Public Theater)
Closed 2h 30m
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Public Theater)
86

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Public Theater) NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(231 Reviews)
Positive
97%
Mixed
3%
Negative
0%
Members say
Entertaining, Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Funny

About the Show

The Delacorte transforms into an enchanted forest for the Bard's rom-com starring Tony winners Phylicia Rashad and Annaleigh Ashford, and nominee Danny Burstein. Part of the Public's free Shakespeare in the Park season.

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Member Reviews (231)

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443 Reviews | 126 Followers
69
1st preview 7/11/17, Lackluster, So-so, Sporadically amusing, Lots of $ thrown at it

See it if since it's free, if weather is nice, to see Annaleigh Ashford, to spend an evening in Central Park, if you've never seen MSND be4, then go..

Don't see it if you've ever seen an inspired production of MSND, you want your Shakespeare treated better, you never want to see MSND again, you can't care

90 Reviews | 41 Followers
65
Entertaining, Confusing, Hilarious, Banal, Delightful

See it if you want to see Ashford and Burstein give incredible performances; Fresh, wacky, and full of heart. The music was a wonderful addition.

Don't see it if you want to understand the concept, or the meaning of the language. Not enough attention was paid to conveying the message to the audience.

28 Reviews | 4 Followers
60
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if You enjoy the stars of the show

Don't see it if You are a shakespeare purist or like quick shows only

14 Reviews | 3 Followers
69
Entertaining, Great acting, Quirky, Uneven, Great set

See it if You love a fun show that makes some interesting choices that don't always work.

Don't see it if you are looking for a traditional interpretation of Shakespeare or you will mind seeing some ideas that didn't really work.

470 Reviews | 112 Followers
During previews
60
Confusing, Slow

See it if You enjoy childish "scene within a scene" plays and are able to follow super-confusing plots which are not explained well.

Don't see it if You want a fast-paced evening, as it runs 2 hours 42 minutes and feels significantly longer.

410 Reviews | 98 Followers
During previews
65
Geriatric fairies work for public's we are one initiative but not shakespeare

See it if You are a proponent of color blind, gender blind and age blind casting. Personally I want Puck to be a sprite.

Don't see it if Midsummer is not one of your favorite plays. You dont like blind casting. You dont want to be bored at times.

241 Reviews | 44 Followers
During previews
68
Great writing, Disappointing, Indulgent, Quirky, Uneven

See it if you enjoy Shakespeare in the Park and accept that usually both casting and "concept" tend to be uneven.

Don't see it if you are tired of productions that seem to think Shakespeare needs to be "fixed" even thought it isn't broken, and of self-absorbed actors. Read more

197 Reviews | 75 Followers
During previews
69
Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Disappointing, Weak

See it if you really have nothing else to do and want to enjoy the evening air, the park setting, some great singing by Marcelle Davies Lashley

Don't see it if you don't want to see a beautiful play treated badly. Overacting, schtick, good actors working poorly together Read more

Critic Reviews (42)

The New York Times
July 31st, 2017

"Ms. deBessonet has brought to the play the high spirits and communitarian pageantry that made her previous park outings...so 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."
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Time Out New York
July 31st, 2017

"Huggable and kind-natured...Annaleigh Ashford, as Helena, offers a divinely funny portrait of romantic desperation—she works offbeat wonders on every line—and Shalita Grant’s Hermia slides memorably from pertness to fury...Clint Ramos’s fanciful costumes and Justin Levine’s brassy-funky ’70s-flavored score add to the swirl of pleasure. DeBessonet's production welcomes the spirits of community theater and theater community. You leave with a lovestruck smile."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
July 31st, 2017

"As directed by Lear deBessonet, this 'Midsummer' is not so much play as pageant, a Technicolor mishmash...There are plays that are pure, delightful fluff. 'Dream' doesn’t have to be one of them. There is a there there. And it’s angrier, dirtier, sexier and therefore much, much funnier than the glitter-bomb that’s currently exploding at the Delacorte...The production is not without fun — it just feels rather desperate to ensure that you are in fact having fun every minute."
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The Hollywood Reporter
July 31st, 2017

"A delightfully frothy theatrical palate cleanser...Delivers loads of antic fun, even if there are times when the kitchen-sink approach borders on overkill...Shakespeare's convoluted story line...is rendered here with uncommon clarity. But while the performers prove highly adept with the poetical language, the action is as much physical as verbal...While not all of the performances are effective, the standouts in the ensemble provide ample compensation."
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Variety
August 1st, 2017

“Who’d have thought that the Rude Mechanicals would rescue a floundering production…Whatever overall concept deBessonet had in mind for this production is lost in a muddle of performance styles…The antics of the lovers are all at odds...While the acting tends to sitcom style, none of it comes from the same sitcom…Unlike those self-conscious young lovers, the Rude Mechanicals never play to the audience or force a laugh."
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New York Daily News
July 31st, 2017

"A high-spirited hodgepodge that glides along with just a few hiccups and so-so performances. At 2 3/4 hours, the show comes close to overstaying its welcome. But sustained laughter and amusement compensate...Ashford oozes hilarity from start to finish as the besotted Helena...Two more standouts are Danny Burstein, who serves up thick slices of ham as Nick Bottom...And Jeff Hiller, an ace comic actor makes a big impression in the small role of the artisan-actor Flute."
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AM New York
July 31st, 2017

"A bright and jubilant staging of the perennial romantic comedy...Except for a few distinct touches—older actors playing the fairies, a tree house containing a live band and ad-libs directed to the audience, to name a few—deBessonet’s production is relatively straightforward...This shifts the focus to the terrific performances of Phylicia Rashad, Danny Burstein, Kristine Nielsen, Shalita Grant and Annaleigh Ashford."
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NY1
August 1st, 2017

“‘Midsummer’ most certainly entertains in exuberant fashion; and if not a perfect production, its spell of enchantment makes for a near perfect midsummer night...Director Lear deBessonet assembled a dream team of talents to strut their stuff...The performances are sublime…If it all seems a hodgepodge, it is but a delightful one that holds pleasant surprises…If there were occasional misses, it mostly hit the bull's-eye aiming for both heart and funny bone."
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