Suffolk’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Preview
The latest installment from the Suffolk University Theatre Department will be taking over the Modern Theatre next week.
Midsummer Night, which is a rock musical loosely adapted to William Shakespeare’s iconic A Midsummer Night’s Dream, promises to show the depth of acting talent within the department, as well as the versatility of the cast.
The show takes place at a rock music festival, where the main conflict lies—between Oberon and Titania, two hot-tempered rock star lovers with big egos.
The musical has made significant changes to the original script, most notably the significant cut of roles to shrink the show from a two and a half hour, five-act performance, to an intermission-less, 90-minute show.
The show’s director, Marilyn Plotkins, said the sizeable cut in the cast worried her when choosing the musical for this Spring.
“I love this show,” she said. “I wanted to create as many opportunities as I could.”
And she did, by adding a group dubbed as “the All-Stars” who are Titania’s backup singers, as well as a few “groupies,” who camp out in the Modern Theatre to catch the rock festival.
Now, the show features a larger cast, said Plotkins, with a significant increase in roles to the cast drawn up by the two authors of Midsummer Night, Brenden Vilburn and Valerie Vigoda.
Anyone familiar with Shakespeare’s original script might be familiar with the “mechanicals,” who are the rogue amateur acting troop led by Nick Bottom.
In this adaptation, Bottom, played by junior Bobby Zupkofska, takes on the roles of all the mechanicals, occupying the stage by himself for a good part of the show.
“At first, when I heard about Bottom doing a one-man show, I thought it was going to be a deal-breaker,” said Plotkins. “But Bobby has worked so hard, and he’s so skilled, that it’s fun to watch it play out on stage.
“He came to the first rehearsal with everything memorized,” she said. “And because of that, it was easy to work with him and figure out how we were going to make that work.
“And you should see him; he’s amazing.”
The rock musical also features a lot of complex choreography and unorthodox movement. An area where, Plotkins said, Junior Sydney Grant has assisted her.
“Sydney is a very unusual student, who is respected almost to the point where she could be faculty,” she said. “I think because I cast her as a circus performer, she was motivated to get the circus performers as involved as possible.
“She’s done a fantastic job, and her contribution has been outstanding.”
The show opens up this Thursday, April 10, and runs through Sunday, April 13. Show times are 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, as well as 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Tickets are $20 for general admission, and $15 for Suffolk University students who have a valid ID upon purchase.
“At the core of this play, is pure joy,” said Plotkins. “There’s something about the energy and ultimate optimism of the play that is so infectious, that you will have a really good time.
“You can’t help but have a good time.”