Shakespeare in the park is a very common summer theme.
A great one.
So I went with some friends to High Park - my nature oasis- to see The Canadian Stage Company's modern take on A Midsummer Nights Dream.
I don't know what the synopsis was talking about by a paparazzi, pop-culture referencing rendition, I did not see any of that. What I did see was a few mild hip-hop references, many Afro-Caribbean ones (including Oberon and Titania's amazing, hypercoloured costumes) and an exuberant and jubliant celebration; the perfect "end" to summer. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard at a performance of Shakespeare, nor have I ever thought that every member of a cast was so equally impressive.
Sure, it isn't as idyllic as Bard on the Beach or as traditional as the Globe but it far surpassed my other summer Shakespeare experience, King Lear in Stratford (not to take away from the pleasure derived from a mini summer road trip with a few friends). Plus it is pay what you can (suggested $20) and outdoors among towering oak trees. You cannot really ask for a better setting for a play that requires audiences to be transported into a magical land of fairies.
Read about it, and prepare yourself for next year @ http://www.livewithculture.ca/content/view/full/15424/