The Queen of the Fairies and Monsters and all other weird things (mock) reviews the ballet:
*It should be noted that the role of Titania was double cast and portrayed beautifully by both Ms. Lydia Phillips and Ms. Sarah Grace Austin, but since Sarah got the real review (check it out! Yay for MBT!) this one is for Lydia. PLus I’m gaga for her anyways…so much so that I write incredibly stupid things like that sentence.
I am pretty appalled that I was not asked to guest artist as the Fairy Queen for this production. Ask anyone, there is no one who is more ‘champion of the queens or fairies than me. So I of course had to attend Missouri Ballet Theatre’s performance last weekend at Edison Theatre to scope out my competition.
The show follows the classic Shakespeare play, set to lovely music by Mendelssohn. Frankly, I don’t know why they couldn’t have set the whole thing to my songs. Rather than the classic overture, I think audiences would have been riveted if the show kicked off with my rendition of ‘Love Game’ which is pretty much what Midsummer is about. It would have really woken up all the well-behaved homeschooled kids at the Friday Matinee anyways.
The story is a tangled web of characters; the fairy king and queen, Oberon and Titania, Oberon’s prankster friend Puck, the lovers Hermia and Lysander, Helena and Demetrius, and a bunch of fairies named after flowers and cooking spices, like Primrose and mustard Seed. It’s probably where the spice girls got the idea. There is also a cast of wannabe actors putting on a play rehearsing in the woods, and it is the lead man, Bottom, whom is transformed into a donkey as part of the trick that Puck and Oberon play on Titania. She is bewitched by a magical flower to fall in love with the first thing she sees, which is Bottom. The magical flower is also used mistakenly on Lysander, who due to the mild-altering drug, falls for Helena and forgets his true love Hermia. Puck corrects his mistake by also casting the spell over Demetrius who was also in love with Hermia, but then switches to Helena, who loves him. And then he makes Lysander fall back in love with Hermia, so it all ends well. And after Oberon has his fun watching his Queen lust over a donkey, he changes Bottom back and all is mended. Basically, they should have used my song ‘bad Romance’ for the entire show on repeat until the end. Then I guess they could go back to Mendelssohn since I don’t have any songs where love actually works out.
The show did some things well. First, the fluid sexuality- there was an actor portraying a woman, the part of Puck is usually a man but played here by a girl, and of course the inclusion of bestiality. I encourage anyone to love anything whether it has wings or hooves. Lauren Beasley McCart was fantastic in the role of Puck; she was mischevious, spritely, and most importantly, half-naked which is what I really care about. And of course, no show is complete without wigs and huge amounts of glitz. Kudos to the fairies for really representing the community with their rainbow palette of eye shadow colors. That’s real pride! While the dancing did not have the jerking, spastic type of movement that I like to feature, I guess it was ok. The show also serves as a great lesson in life that drugs make everything alright.
The failing point for me was in the lovers. Though the dancing was quite excellent, one couple had mainly purple outfits, and the other was mainly outfitted in red. The purple people ended up together, as did the red. It seemed like a predictable matching game, and I encourage interracial or intercolored costume coupling. I encourage MBT to be more colorblind in the future and avoid such color and costume segregation. Otherwise, I’ll be waiting a long time for my soul mate to appear in their own giant dinosaur egg carriage.
Somewhere between the glitz and glamour of the costumes, the messy love story, and the music, I found myself swept up into this beautiful performance. Missouri Ballet theatre must be taking my advice, ‘Don’t be a drag, just be a queen’ because the show was no drag, even if that fairy Primrose wore enough turquoise eye shadow to be a drag queen. And Lydia Phillips filled the role of Titania with such beauty and grace that perhaps even I would retire my title as Fairy Queen in her presence.
I take my crown off to you, Titania for your performance, but mostly for your choice in fairy company, your open mind to love, and your ability to be drugged.
Even I have trouble managing all of that in one music video. Actually, no I don’t.