The winter event season at The Studios of Key West kicks off with a flourish with a fantastically reimagined version of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
The play comes to life at twilight atop Hugh’s View, The Studios’ rooftop terrace, for a limited run of eight nights, Jan. 19-29. Tickets can now be purchased at tskw.org or by calling 305-296-0458.
Reconceived and directed by Richard Ericson, the 75-minute production is staged in the sky, with a panoramic vista across the rooftops of Old Town. It features a quick-change cast of five local and imported actors, alongside the bold and original life-sized creations of master puppet designer Jeff Goltz.
“Our goal with this production of “Midsummer” is to treat audiences to something they’ve likely not seen before,” said Ericson, who has directed and produced plays and musicals on and off-Broadway, nationally and internationally for over 40 years. “Jeff Goltz is a gifted artist, and the puppets he’s created for this show perfectly embody the magic, passion and comedy needed to do justice to the poetry of the Bard.”
No less important than the puppets, a talented cast of actors plays out the explosive conflict of the fairy queen Titania (Vanessa McCaffrey) and her bad-boy king Oberon (New York actor L. Hardwicke), while the play’s high-born human lovers jostle for more earthly sex and romance.
Hovering over the comic mayhem are Cupid (an oversized, flying puppet-creation by Goltz that requires five puppeteers) and the play’s master of the revels, Puck, a sweet, sexy ruffian (Iain Wilcox) who lives to provoke. Local comic Gil Parker Jr. stars as the hilarious amateur thespian Nick Bottom, while Ray West is the beset Peter Quince.
“I’ve so enjoyed the Key West theater scene over the past few years, and I’m excited to play a more active role with this production,” continued Ericson. “It’s an absolute joy to work with the island’s talent and to push the envelope in new and unexpected ways.”
Ericson now lives in Key West with his husband and partner, Louis Raymond, who’s creating the environment for this production. Indianapolis-based Goltz has been designing and performing with puppets since he was 9. Goltz is also a professional ventriloquist who plays at comedy clubs, festivals and theaters.
Performances are at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday evenings, Jan. 19-29 at Hugh’s View, 533 Eaton St. Tickets are $80 front row, $60, $50 for members, and are extremely limited. Visit tskw.org or call 305-296-0458 for more information.