Sierra Madre Playhouse has a Dream on Royal Street

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The Dream on Royal Street is currently on stage at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, a venue with a long history of staging great theatrical performances. They have labelled this show “… a madcap interpretation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Only in this show it is in modern times at the Royal Street Hotel in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

The show opens in a manner reminiscent of a typical Broadway musical. Soon two divergent groups emerge, one is the local hotel staff attempting to produce its own show and the other just flew in from headlining in Las Vegas with its two super star performers ready to wow New Orleans. But next to develop is a love triangle twice over [roughly speaking] ultimately made even worse with the misapplication of some magic love spray. Madcap, oh yes.

But the show evolves in a way that is a bit difficult to follow and what to me was a somewhat confused style. There were times when I did in fact wonder, so who are these characters and what is the point here? Yes, there was plenty to laugh at, but the greater purpose escaped me.

However by far the singularly most disappointing element was the music. No I don’t mean its content because overwhelmingly that was just flat out indiscernible. Were the singers off key or did they stumble on the lyrics? Probably not but then it was very hard to tell because the music track audio was so loud as to essentially block the voices and that is an extremely bad thing in a musical.

That said there was no doubt but that each player on stage was fully committed to their task. And the production team is clearly a group of proven talent. Yet not much of that matters when you cannot hear the vocals in a musical production. So if that is resolved this just could be a truly excellent production.

The Dream on Royal Street is at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Boulevard, Sierra Madre, California now through August 13th.  Performance are Thursdays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. General admission is only $15, under 18 years are admitted for just $12.00. Reservations may be made by calling 626-355-4318 and online ticketing is available here.

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Top photo of Fionn Dawson and Anna Cohen by John Dlugolecki