Home Musical score ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ still casts a spell over the Synetic Theater

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ still casts a spell over the Synetic Theater

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If “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” isn’t as enchanting as the vision of a production about mischievous fairy Puck and goofy actor Bottom, then Synetic Theater is lucky to count the spellbinding performances among its assets. by Ariel Kraje and Vato Tsikurishvili.

Although the “Silent Shakespeare” production was first staged at the Kennedy Center in 2009 and later staged at Synetic’s Crystal City space in 2013 and 2015, the spellbinding cast breathes new life into the latest revival of the troupe based on dance and movement. The production is devoid of dialogue, like most synetic shows. But the timeless tale of love’s bliss and magical interference proves fitting for such an interpretation, thanks to disparate storylines that lend themselves to a refreshing range of visual and sonic aesthetics.

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Sprinkling the proceedings with pixie dust, pantomime prowess, and loose limb contortion, the blue-painted Kraje makes for an endlessly appealing Puck. She’s at her best twisting on the ends of invisible puppet strings or goading other fairies with Puck’s antics. But Kraje charms even watching from afar, reveling in the craziness of others while perched on the crescent moon in the glowing woodland setting by set designer Anastasia Rurikov Simes.

The son of “Midsummer” director Paata Tsikurishvili and choreographer Irina Tsikurishvili, Vato Tsikurishvili imbues Bottom with wide-eyed intensity and impressive acrobatics, as well as uncanny control over seemingly every muscle in his face. Tsikurishvili’s comedic timing is particularly on point in the climactic playing of a piece, when he bounces off Katherine DuBois’ charming rendition of Flute. The main turn has been a long time coming for Tsikurishvili, who has played other members of the ill-fated cast of actors in past stagings of Synetic’s “Midsummer,” but commands the stage here with such authority that he it’s hard to imagine him ever taking a back seat.

With each “Midsummer” storyline comes new flourishes. The otherworldly feuds of Oberon (Philip Fletcher, reprising his role) and Titania (Stella Bunch), the king and queen of the fairies, are staged with animal vigor. This contrasts starkly with the elegance of the ballroom and the raunchy, brutal heartbreak delivered by the lovesick Lysander (Lev Belopiletsky), Hermia (Nutsa Tediashvili), Demetrius (Aaron Kan) and Helena (Anna Tsikurishvili, a master wading flirtation). Bottom’s cast of actors, meanwhile, deliver low comedy of the highest order, as bickering performers rehearse their piece with a healthy dose of vaudevillian slapstick.

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The Simes’ immaculate suits, ranging from steampunk chic to black-tie attire and rustic outerwear, further differentiate the three sons. The same can be said for Andrew Griffin’s savvy lighting, grand for magical beings but grounded for mere mortals, and Konstantine Lortkipanidze’s genre-bending score, which includes dubstep, ragtime piano and instrumental pop covers. a la “Bridgerton”.

That final musical touch is particularly fitting for this feat of sensual storytelling, as Synetic reimagines one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays with wordless elegance. A decade after first attempting this tricky dance, this “Midsummer” still knows how to cast a spell.

Dream of a summer night, by William Shakespeare. Directed by Paata Tsikurishvili. Choreography, Irina Tsikurishvili; Ben Cunis fight choreography; set design, costumes and props, Anastasia Rurikov Simes; lighting, Andrew Griffin; music and sound design, Konstantine Lortkipanidze. With Irene Hamilton, Kim Ahn Aslanian, Alissa Zagorski, Nathan Weinberger, Pablo Guillén, Josh Lucas and Bengt Erik Nelson. Through July 24 at the Synetic Theatre, 1800 S. Bell St., Arlington. About 110 minutes. $20 to $60. synetictheater.org.