See it if An amazing experience with a stellar cast, wonderful staging, rich costumes and sets. I loved everything about it. It was cool out as well!
Don't see it if You don't like the bard ...
See it if director brilliantly brings out MND's comedic side by setting up as inspired sitcom, casting musical comedy stars A. Ashford & D. Burstein
Don't see it if missing magic inherent in MND in fairyland, miscasts Nielsen as Puck, misconceives fairies as alta cockers Read more
See it if You really want the perfect Shakespeare in the Park experience. This production was born for the park & the performances are wonderful.
Don't see it if You simply aren't interested in Shakespeare or romantic comedies, or if you have bad allergies.
See it if you've never seen this show performed outdoors. The mystical forest setting lends itself perfectly to Shakespeare in the Park.
Don't see it if you're expecting a production as good as the Julie Taymor-helmed version a few years ago. It's entertaining enough, but something's missing.
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
See it if Already enjoy the play and like the more standard production
Don't see it if Want to see a new staging or take one a classic
See it if you love the written play and appreciate it when a director draws out typically overlooked aspects of Shakespearean comedies
Don't see it if you expect a period piece or are indifferent to Shakespeare/his comedies—this play's good but probably not worth the line to non-WS fans Read more
See it if you enjoy a good Shakespeare comedy with touches of modernism and a healthy dollop of good music and singing
Don't see it if you are a fan of Shakespeare performed as written taking no liberties
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
“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."
"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."
"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."
“‘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."