Fountain Hills Theater revisits popular Shakespeare comedy

Rehearsing for “Midsummer Dreamin’” are, from left, back, Roger Prenger, Doug Simmons, Owen Zerambo, Matt McDonald, Sean Owen and Zach Percevecz. Foreground: Tom Vinopal and Heidi Carpenter.

Fountain Hills Theater kicks off its summer season with a remake of the popular William Shakespeare comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” but this time set in the 1967 Summer of Love.

“Midsummer Dreamin’” is a modern musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” produced by the theater’s artistic director, Peter J. Hill.

When Shakespeare’s characters are set in a hippy-dippy America and sing tunes like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “Y.M.C.A.” and “Aquarius,” the audience knows this ain’t your Grandpa’s classic.

Mia is in love with Andy, but her father wants her to marry Denny. To escape the arranged marriage, she and Andy elope into the woods.

Denny follows them and is pursued by Helen, who nurses an unrequited passion for him. A love quadrangle develops among the young lovers when mischievous Puck plays Cupid.

“The course of true love never did run smooth” says Andy. Meanwhile, a group of amateur actors rehearses a badly-written play in the woods, and soon all find their lives changed by the doings of Oberon and Titania, the warring king and queen of the fairies.

The adapting author, Peter J. Hill, says that setting this comedy in the era of hippies and free love was a natural for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The conservative parents’ fear that their straight-laced daughter Mia (Hermia) fall for the more rebellious, long-haired, hippy Andy (Lysander) was common during the summer of love.

“Midsummer Dreamin”  is produced and directed by Peter J. Hill, choreographed by Noel Irick and musically directed by Jennifer Whiting.

“Midsummer Dreamin” will play June 30- July 30.  Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.

Individual tickets are $30 for adults and $23 for youth 17 and under. Seniors receive a $5 discount on all Thursday and Saturday performances.

All performances are at Fountain Hills Theater on its Mainstage, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd.

Tickets are available through the theater box office at 480-837-9661, Ext. 3 or by visiting fhtaz.org.

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