The Words of Shakespeare Illustrated with 20th Century Pop Songs

Two of William Shakespeare’s most enduring and well-loved comedies are given updates by moving them forward into the 20th Century. These fast paced editions were wildly successful in their original Seattle runs and subsequent revivals. The dialogue is all Shakespeare, the concept and musical suggestions are courtesy of Normandy Press’s own Arne Zaslove.


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare
Production Concept by Arne Zaslove

Shakespeare’s perennial hit, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, has seen many treatments and versions. But none rock the house quite like Zaslove’s Midsummer. The show opens with Athens High School preparing the graduation festivities for the Class of 1957. Complications ensue… you know that. But you don’t know Midsummer until you’ve heard Helena croon “I Will Follow Him” or Puck warble “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?”
Shakespeare’s language is unchanged – but enhanced by the perfect placement of crowd-pleasing songs from the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll. High school, innocence, young love… it’s magic!

Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare
Production Concept by Arne Zaslove

“If music be the food of love, play on…” Shakespeare invites music, to pair with his sophisticated and foolish lovers - and in this production concept of Twelfth Night the music is provided by none other than Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and Noel Coward.

The Jazz Age of the 1920s provides a happy home for Count Orsino and his swinging, tipsy entourage on his yacht, the SS Illyria. Shakespeare’s language is intact, and his characters lift from prose to poetry to – song! This enchanting version weds the wit and buffoonery of the Bard’s enduring and much-loved comedy with timeless songs by our modern masters of romance.

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