About Town…

Elgin summer shakes 092013So, I walk (quickly, but trying to look cool and calm) into Side Street Studio Arts at 15 Ziegler Court, Elgin.  I felt bad because I was cutting it a wee bit close for Janus Theatre Company’s performance of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.  But when I get there, I am greeted with a flower and an offer of complimentary refreshments.  How unbelievably nice is that!  Anyhow, I see that not everyone has taken their seats because a few are standing and mingling in the middle of the studio, which is outlined by 30, or so chairs.   I see a friend, Rich (from Rediscover Records, 207 E. Chicago Street, Elgin), and take my seat next to him.  All of a sudden the play starts in the middle of those that are mingling in the center!

For those who are not familiar with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, a guy named William Shakespeare, or Bill, as I like to call him, wrote it in the late 1500’s.  It is a tale of three interconnecting plots that have to do with love, theatre and topsy-turvy comedy that comes from the doings of a snarky little fairy!  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is part of Janus’ Elgin Summer Shakes, which is sponsored in part by the City of Elgin, Elgin Cultural Arts Commission and the Side Street Studio Arts.  It opened August 30th and runs through September 15, 2013 at the Side Street Studio Arts.

The best thing about having the performance in such an intimate space is that the audience feels like they are part of the play.  At one point, one of the cast members was looking right at me and saying her line – and I almost answered her!  I have been to other Janus Theatre Company performances, and the company’s founder, Sean Hargadon, creates these wonderful atmospheres that ensures that the audience will be engaged in every word.  It is magical!

Some I know are not a fan of the works of Shakespeare, however, Sean who is also Midsummer’s Artistic Director, produces modern versions to Bill Shakespeare’s pieces so that everyone can relate.  Heck, in Sean’s rendition of this crazy comedy, the dress was modern, as was the music, and there was even a purple unicorn pillow pet used as a prop!  Then Sean marries that with the most incredible and gifted actors…and, well, it is a win-win!

In this play – there is also acted out  – a play within a play.  And this was hysterical!  The audience was reacting with non-stop laughter throughout the whole production-within-a-production as well as with the main production!  Did you follow that?

You’ve got to see Janus’ production of Bill’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, but since seating is limited, reservations are needed.  The day I was there, it was a full house!  You can order tickets online at www.elginsummershakes.eventbrite.com.  If you need more information, or to read about thisincredibly talented cast, visit janustheater.com

In addition to a fabulously entertaining show, a garnet of goodness to this production is its location…while watching the play, I was able to enjoy Side Street Studio Arts, as well.  Side Street sits back off the street a bit, but is certainly a place that you don’t want to miss.  There is so much happening at this art gallery.  Besides Janus Theatre’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Side Street is bringing the community their latest pop up exhibit “Art Everywhere”, featuring work that represents “artists’ visions of the world, and how they see Art Everywhere”.  Live music and great art is guaranteed!  Visit Side Street Studio Arts on Facebook or at sidestreetstudioarts.org to learn more about what’s happening at Side Street!

So, there you goeth…I have to close by saying…”Lord, what fools these morals be” if you don’t reserve your tickets now! It truly was an end of summer day’s dream to see this festive rendition of “A Misdummer Night’s Dream” at Side Street Studio Arts, Downtown Elgin, IL!