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‘Daydream’ needs a wake-up call in Prospect Park

The Brooklyn Paper

It is not very often that a theatrical production comes along that features puppetry, scenery-chewing acting, greatly truncated Shakespeare and absurd accents — and yet still doesn’t fully satisfy me.

I know what you’re thinking: “Trey Dooley is going to pan a show with puppets, over-acting, edited Shakespeare and silly patois?” Not entirely, but PLG Arts’ presentation of “Daydream” — a shortened version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — in Prospect Park’s Imagination Playground is a flawed piece of children’s theater.

First of all, the puppets. There may be no man alive with more of an appreciation of the puppetry arts and sciences, but you don’t need to be a graduate of the String and Hand Institute of Technology to recognize that there’s a problem when the humans who are voicing the puppets cannot be heard over the whizzing bicyclists on the road alongside the playground.

Fortunately, the puppet acoustics are only a minor problem, thanks to the outstanding overacting of Sean Kenin in the Oberon role and T. Scott Lilly as Bottom. Both men hurl themselves into their parts with giddy abandon, though Lilly’s accents are, admittedly, all over the place, and he did not fully plumb the depths of Bottom’s licentiousness, egotism and sexual wantonness (Oh, well. Blame the kids).

But even with these two giants chewing up the playground, the action falls a bit flat, mostly due to the awkward setting — the audience sits on the playground floor — and a script that gives the Mechanicals too much stage time and Bottom and Oberon a bit too little.

In the rush to squeeze this lengthy Bard epic into 40 minutes, a little too much gets lost.

That said, it’s a must-see — if only for the delight of introducing your kids to Oberon and Bottom, two of the Bard’s greatest comic characters.

“Daydream” ends its run on Saturday, June 25 at 11 am and Sunday, June 26 at 2 pm in the Imagination Playground in Prospect Park [enter park at Lincoln Road and Ocean Avenue, (718) 393-7733].

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