Friday, January 23, 2009

Were The World Mine (Rhoades)

“Were the World Mine” Is Midsummer Musical

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

For the past two summers, local dance impresario Joyce Stahl with the help of Java Studios has thrown a terrific Midsummer Night party, complete with faux fauns and fairies, men on stilts, musicians, artists, and jubilant partygoers.

This summer solstice celebration, of course, harkens back to William Shakespeare’s play where the nighttime woods become a magical fairyland.

Hollywood did it right in 1933 with Max Reinhardt’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a movie populated with a dream cast: Olivia de Havilland, Dick Powell, James Cagney, Joe E. Brown, Victor Jory, Anita Louise … and Mickey Rooney as Puck.

Hollywood tried again in 1999, this time “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” with Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, Christina Flockhart … and Stanley Tucci as Puck.

Even so, I was partial to Woody Allen’s 1988 take-off, “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy” featuring Mia Farrow, Jose Ferrer, Julie Hagerty, Tony Roberts, Mary Steenburgen … and Woody himself. As expected, this heterosexual romp pays homage to the bard while making a statement about Woody Allen’s view of the uneasy relationship between men and women.

Now we have a gay version called “Were the World Mine” -- now playing at the Tropic Cinema.

Inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” director-writer Tom Gustafson gives us a 2008 musical fantasy about a kid who discovers a magic potion that turns most of the townsfolk gay.

There’s a lesson to be learned as they walk, uh, prance in his footsteps.

Timothy (engagingly played by Tanner Cohen) has been cast as Puck in a high school production of the Bard’s famous romantic comedy, but the movie is more about his own musical fantasies than quoting Shakespeare.

Gustafson based this feature-length movie on his own award-winning short film called “Fairies.” I don’t think it’s about pixies.

The cast is great. David Becker plays well with star Tanner Cohen. Wendy Robie (better known as crazy Nadine on TV’s “Twin Peaks”) is the drama teacher. You’ll also encounter Broadway star Judy McLane, soap opera legend Jill Larson, and Zelda Willams from House of D.

The music is lovely, but used sparingly. It offers a contemporary Broadway feel.

You’ll be humming it as you step out of the theater into the night. Perhaps in search of magic.
[from Solares Hil]

No comments: