One of the best things offered in Los Angeles during the summer season is the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival. This year’s first play is A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, which is transforming the Old Zoo location at Griffith Park into an enchanted forest where you can let your imagination free. The play is directed by Independent Shakespeare Co.’s co-founder Melissa Chalsma, and it’s now performing through Sep. 2, free of charge.

In A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM three sets of beings collide. One group is made of fantastic, otherworldly creatures; then there is some eloping lovers; and last, a group of amateur actors putting a play together. When their worlds meet, chaos ensues, magic is needed to straighten it all, and some of the funniest lines are uttered.

This production’s diverse cast is a wonderful reflection of Los Angeles. Some of the actors are new with the company, such as Julia Aks, playing Helena wonderfully. Others are veteran members, such as Evan Lewis Smith, playing Oberon and, once again, gifting us with an amazing performance.

Nick Bottom, the character that provides comedic relief in this play and is famous because his head is transformed into one of a donkey, is delivered hilariously by David Melville. This is the funniest Bottom you will ever see (I know… even that sounds funny).

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Evan Lewis Smith (Oberon) & Kelvin Morales (Puck) star in “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” at GRIFFITH PARK FREE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL / Credit: Grettel Cortes Photography

 

The cast of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM also features Jose Acain, Richard Azurdia, Patrick Batiste, Joseph Culliton, William Elsman, Daniel Jimenez, Aisha Kabia, Kelvin Morales, Xavi Moreno, Bukola Ogunmola, Katie Powers-Faulk, and Darian Ramirez.

This is a fantastic, most recommended, production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. Grab a picnic, a blanket or low back chairs, your friends, your family, and get ready for a cool evening (even if the day is hot), at the park, Wednesday through Sunday, at 7 pm.

There is no cost of admission, but take along a few dollars because, I promise you, after you see this you will feel like throwing something into the orange donation buckets. It’s like church.

For more information, call (818) 710-6306 or visit www.iscla.org. Directions to the Old Zoo at Griffith Park are available on the website. There is plenty of free parking.

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