Shakespeare's most enchanting comedy is set in the late 1950s and seen through the surreal lens of world-famous Belgian artist Rene Magritte in this intriguing production at San Jose State. Famed for his pop-art images depicting everyday objects like apples and bowler hats in unusual settings, Magritte's works explore the idea of illusion vs. reality, which makes for an excellent fit with the whimsical A Midsummer Night's Dream. The play follows four young lovers into the woods where they become the unwitting victims in a lover's quarrel between the king and queen of faeries. When a group of local rustics rehearsing a play in the forest also gets caught up in the madness, the comical snarl of spells seems impossible to sort out. But with fairies and sprites all around, it just takes a little more magic and, as the jester Puck puts it, "all is mended."
This production runs two hours, with a 10-minute intermission and is appropriate for those middle-school age and up.