Midsummer / Jersey – Lindenwold High School in Lindenwold, NJ
November 23, 2015
Review submitted by Nina Saligman of Friends Central School
The Jersey Shore – A rambunctious home of reality tv, cheap spray tans, and no corner more than ten minutes from a mall. Shakespeare’s depiction of Athens – The quintessence of sophistication, history and erudition. What happens when the two of these settings cross? Lindenwold High School attempted to show us this Saturday in their production of Midsummer/Jersey.
Midsummer/Jersey is a frisky, ambitious production. Successfully pulling off a Jersey Shore adaptation of classic Shakespeare is a tall order, but Lindenwold did it charmingly.
The plot shows four scrambled lovers guided by a band of mischievous fairies. Think – Jersey chic meets fairy wings to serve up an amusing tale of confused love.
With a bubbly cast and cheerful audience there was no shortage of positive energy radiating throughout this production. Admittedly, there were times in which this energy seemed to come at the cost of mild blur and disorganization, but the blending of many things is how Lindenwold made the production their own.
The cast is to be acclaimed for more than just consistent maintenance of the Jersey accent and an obscene amount of running in heels. Bustling energy is what defined the production. The central protagonists were portrayed by Jiovani Arias and Shannon Gaskill, both of whom did a charming job. Arias’s flavorful aroma in conjunction with Gaskill’s comedic energy provided endless amusement.
A surefire strong suit was Lindenwold’s ensemble of salon employees. Including notable performances from Khadijah Teel and Ahnyah Pinckeny, the Hair Salon Posse’s comedic act carried the show. Another casting highlight was the dynamic fairy duo of Titania and Oberon, portrayed by Adriana Morales and Kelvin Wilburn. All in all, Lindenwold held together a successful troupe with much charisma.
The production’s aura was solid. At the hand of an excellent set, distinctly pleasing costume and makeup, and lively energy all around, Midsummer/Jersey was nothing but easy to watch. From opening sequence to curtain call, it was apparent that the majority of the audience was certainly feeling the show’s excitement.
Lindenwold’s adaptation of Midsummer/Jersey was a charming production. The energetic cast, jubilant spirit, and comedic presentation made it a fine investment of time.
Review submitted by Gianni Cocchella from Upper Dublin High School
“Lord, what fools these mortals be!”
You’d be foolish to miss out on Lindenwold High School’s production of a Midsummer/Jersey. This comedic adaptation of the classic tale of A Midsummer’s Night Dream by William Shakespeare is set along the boardwalk in a local town near the shore of modern-day New Jersey. The story centers around four young lovers, a lively entourage of beauty salonists, and a group of mythic fairies led by a stubborn King and his dauntless Queen. The night takes a magical turn when Oberon, King of the fairies, wishes to conduct mischief in the mortal realm with the assistance of his right hand man, Puck.
Shannon Gaskill (Mia DiCarlo) stole the show with her amusing performance of a stereotypical, ill-tempered, Jersey-shore girl. Her distinct Jersey accent and capricious attitude throughout the show were, without a doubt, memorable. Jiovani Arias (Lyle Fagioli), on the other hand, effectively portrayed the character of a hot-headed, ruthless, Italian boy seeking to marry his beloved girlfriend. Together, both characters depicted a youthful and struggling couple in the current day reality of young love.
Danielle McCarthy (Robin Goodfellow/Puck) played the role of the impulsive and endearing fairy messenger. Her performance was delightful and playful with the help of her powerful master, Oberon, King of the fairies (Kelvin Wilburn). Together, they pursue a journey tampering with the lives of mortals with their enchanting love potion.
Furthermore, Brandi Flem (Francie Flute) captivated the audience with her incredibly entertaining performance as one of the beauty salonists who is assigned the role of Juliet in a small play for the Governor. Her obnoxious gum-chewing, big hair, and jumpy feet served as effective tools within her portrayal of this disreputable character.
The technical aspects of the production, which included lights, sound, and set, were particularly remarkable. The use of strobe lights and different lighting effectively swayed the setting of each scene. Likewise, the inclusion of pop-hit songs gave the production a more upbeat and positive flare. The overall set was breathtaking and visually appealing. The impressive boardwalk and the tactful shops worked hand in hand to deliver a convincing setting. As a whole, the stage crew worked effectively without complications under stage manager Melissa Rocha.
Overall, Lindenwold High School’s captivating production of Midsummer/Jersey managed to deliver a sensible and engaging re-telling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.