Theater: Moonbeams and Menaces

A brilliantly idiosyncratic Dream at Minneapolis' Guthrie

For most of the nearly four centuries since it was written, A Midsummer Night's Dream was regarded as one of William Shakespeare's slighter works, an "airy nothing" in the play's own words, of no more substance than a trick that moonlight might play on the eye. But since Peter Brook's landmark rediscovery of the play's darker essence in his 1970 production with the Royal Shakespeare Company, scholars and theatergoers alike have recognized that Dream is much more than a slapstick farce of lovers tangling in a green glade. Its narrative blends wars of the sexes, of social classes, of generations, even...

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