Shakespeare doo wops his way through a midsummer night |

Shakespeare doo wops his way through a midsummer night

JENNIFER HARPERsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Kristin SkvorcThe Play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare will be presented by the Backstage Theatre at the Breckenridge Theatre, opening tonight. The Ferries, from left to right: Denise Townsend, Mike Fabian, Chris Gabrels, Mark Mercer and Lisa Mercer are part of the plays 14 person cast.

BRECKENRIDGE – Anyone who’s ever taken a high school English class is familiar with at least one of Shakespeare’s plays.The Backstage Theatre will present a version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” however, few are familiar with – complete with a doo wop 1960s musical.While keeping Shakespearean language in tact, the poodle skirt wearing Hermia (Carrie Clark), black leather jacket clad Lysander (Matt Ostrowski) and nerds-in-love pair Demetrius (Jabe Dooley) and Helena (Jacquelyn Lies) are reminiscent of characters from the classic musical “Grease.”

In the midst of the rhyming dialogue, the sock-hopping characters intersperse lip-synched renditions of oldies favorites like “I will follow him,” “Life could be a dream” and “The Great Pretender.”Shakespeare’s vernacular can often be difficult to follow for the untrained ear, but the Backstage actors understand the Shakespearean lines they’re speaking. This, along with the musical interludes, makes the show entertaining and easy to follow for even the biggest Shakespeare neophyte.For those who didn’t cover this play in the classroom, here’s a quick synopsis: Four quarreling lovers flee into a magical forest followed by a group of bumbling blue-collar workers intent on rehearsing their play. The crew gets tangled in the web of the King and Queen of the Fairies and hilarity ensues.

Skip Wee shines as Bottom, a weaver and one of the melodramatic actors in the play within the play. Mike Fabian is great as Flute, another of the blue-collar workers, and Cobweb, one of the fairies. He also looks fabulous in a blonde wig and a pair of fishnets.Also watch for Maria Cheng’s crafty portrayal of Puck and Clark’s mastery of a Jersey-girl accent as Hermia. Mark Mercer, Chris Gabrels, Denise Townsend, Lisa Marie Mercer, Melissa Amato, J.P. Devine and Emily Flint round out this talented cast of fairies, kings, queens and workers.

This play has it all – romance, comedy, cross-dressing and a touch of bestiality (Don’t worry though; the kids will just find it comical). The show opens at 7:30 p.m. tonight and runs Thursdays through Sundays on alternating weeks June 30 to Aug. 28 at the Breckenridge Theatre, located at 121 South Ridge St. in Breckenridge.Jennifer Harper can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 248, or at

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