- $15 for one ticket for best-available seating (up to $24 value)
- Click to view the seating chart
- This school touring production is presented by the critically-acclaimed Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
Perhaps Shakespeare’s most popular comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream exists in two worlds: one like a dream, the other filled with dreamers. The former is the world of the faeries, and it’s that world in which we spend most of our time. The other world belongs to the play’s central quartet of lovers, who hightail it out of Athens and into the forest, unwittingly entering a place that’s every bit as heady, heightened, and dizzying as the blush of a budding romance or the pangs of unrequited love. For under its magical canopies, the woods harbors meddling sprites, a misapplied love potion or two, and one poor fool with the head of an ass.
That fool’s name is Bottom, and, despite the whirlwind plot that surrounds him, it’s to this character that Midsummer truly belongs. One of Shakespeare’s meatiest comedic roles, Bottom is the unfortunate fellow responsible for the play’s most gut-splitting laughs as well as its profoundest moments of pathos. As the hapless leader of the band of “rude mechanicals,” Bottom is rehearsing a play in the woods when he draws the ire of Puck, the mischievous sprite that guides the audience through the production. After Puck bestows him with the head of an ass, Bottom awakens Titania, the faerie queen, who’s been bewitched to fall in love with the first creature she sees. Their lusty romance is rich fodder for comedy, of course, but in the moments after the enchantments have waned, Bottom regrets that the “dream” has died, longing for a world and a love that were never quite real. With that kind of stuff to play with—plus a climactic trainwreck-within-a-play that dares the actor playing Bottom to chew the scenery and swallow it whole—it’s no surprise that the likes of Kevin Kline and James Cagney have been drawn to the role.
Paramount Hudson Valley
"A Paramount All-Talking Picture" starring Maurice Chevalier and Claudette Colbert drew great public fanfare when the Paramount Hudson Valley debuted in 1930. Then known as the Peekskill Paramount Theater, and owned by a subsidiary of mega-studio Paramount Pictures, the Westchester County Landmark stifled Great Depression and World War II woes as a grand movie house for decades. After shopping malls and TV thwarted its status as a movie house in the '70s, the palace recently reemerged as the Paramount Hudson Valley and now attracts top-name live performers. Lovingly renovated to its original 1930s sheen, the theater sports new carpet, refurbished vintage theater seats, hand-painted ceiling canvas, and opera boxes.