A Midsummer (youth) Night’s Dream

Shakespeare lite, but catchy: Carissa Meagher as Titania.

Shakespeare lite, but catchy: Carissa Meagher as Titania.

California Stage

2509 R St.
Sacramento, CA 95816

(916) 451-5822

Rated 3.0

Youthful charm sustains this teen/preteen-oriented show. It’s a contemporary musical drawing its title, characters and situations from the durable Shakespeare comedy, mixing modern dialogue with highlights of the original’s language. The toe-tapping songs (cute, if not keepers) come from a British team called Shakespeare 4 Kidz. The score resembles certain Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals: Several hook-laden melodies keep returning with new lyrics, advancing the plot. Yes, it’s Shakespeare lite. But the kids carry the day (aided by a few grown-ups), including five female “Rude Mechanicals,” and the quartet of cute, confused young lovers (making ballet moves). While this friendly little production aims to initiate youth to Shakespeare (and succeeds onstage), we did observe a predominance of adoring relatives in the audience last Saturday. But that’s OK.