According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

"A Midsummer Night's Dream," by Matt Windman

Producing a comedy by Shakespeare, even one of his best comedies, will be a challenge for any theater company, of any size or stature. The Vital Theatre Company and Honkbark Production's Off-Off-Broadway “Midsummer” (though playing at an Off-Broadway theater) features about 20 actors, an onstage band, and some nice visual effects, but nevertheless does not present a unified, meaningful vision. The ensemble’s acting is very awkward, and many unsuccessfully try too hard for laughs. Even more out of depth is the decision to cast Lysander as a woman, an interesting idea that is never successfully explored or justified. Also, the set design creates a dark, dungeon-like atmosphere that is ill-suited to the play.

McGinn Cazale Theatre, 2162 Broadway, 212-352-3101, $12-15.

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