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Today's side deal stages A Midsummer Night's Dream in the fashion that Shakespeare had always intended it to be staged—with mirror balls, roller skates, feather boas, skimpy costumes, and pounding disco anthems. For $18, you get one ticket in the "Dance Floor" section to see the American Repertory Theater's Donkey Show at the OBERON in Cambridge. This ticket can be used for shows on: 1/29 (8 p.m.), 1/30 (8 p.m. or 10:30 p.m.), 2/5 (8 p.m.), 2/6 (8 p.m. or 10:30 p.m.), 2/12 (8 p.m.), or 2/13 (8 p.m. or 10:30 p.m.). Call or drop by the box office at least 24 hours before your desired showtime to reserve your ticket. You must be 18 or older to attend.
Fresh from a six-year smash run that propelled it through New York City, London, and Seoul, "The Donkey Show" relocates the story of A Midsummer Night's Dream from an enchanted forest to the glittery confines of a 70s discotheque, and peppers its Shakespearean dialogue with anthemic disco classics, such as "We Are Family," "Car Wash," "I Love the Nightlife," and "Last Dance." King Oberon is now a club owner, his beloved Titania is his dancing queen, and his retinue of fairies has been revamped into a gaggle of go-go boys, while Puck acts as resident pusherman with a giant spoon. Despite the temporally specific trappings, this timeless tale of dreams, sensual abandon, and fantasy still shines through the gaudy retro circus unfolding all around you.
Like the groundlings in Shakespeare's day, you'll have a front-and-center view of the action. Unlike the groundlings, you'll be free to dance and drink, instead of simply stand and drink. And the party doesn't end with the play, either, so stay and live out your midwinter night's disco dreams until the sun comes up.
Though most attendees of The Donkey Show are out shopping for tiny, metallic spandex shorts of their very own and haven't written many reviews, the show has been featured by the New York Times, Boston.com, and Boston Phoenix, and has amassed more than 1,100 fans on Facebook.
- If music be the food of love, ''The Donkey Show'' is a bowl of jalapenos. This rollicking hour of sex, drugs and sweaty gyrations marries the 70's disco craze to, of all things, the work of William Shakespeare. – Peter Marks, New York Times
- Before you go running for Harold Bloom and the sheriff, let me add that this energetic marriage of disco, Dream, and Tijuana tourist entertainment may be the most alive, immersive piece of theater I've ever been dunked in. – Carolyn Clay, Boston Phoenix
- Let me say up front that “The Donkey Show’’ poses a challenge to a reviewer. It’s not that the show completely defies description, but rather that the sensations it creates are so visceral that words seem almost beside the point. This is a show aimed straight at your adrenal glands, and at some of your other glands, too. – Don Aucoin, Boston.com
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