Through September 28 - A Midsummer Night's Dream at Cal Shakes. In a lovely alignment of the stars I managed to see this mere days after rewatching Dead Poets Society (in which the play factors strongly) at the Castro, and on one of the first truly warm nights of our Bay Area "summer." Shana Cooper directs a notably physical production that doesn't shirk from the raciness and ribaldry of Shakespeare's script, and with some magical stage design and strong ensemble acting throughout too I was transported body and soul to the Athenian woods. Danny Scheie has been getting well-deserved raves for his portrayal of Puck, and he does rule every scene he is in with genius comic timing, but Tristan Cunningham as Hermia and Lauren English at Helena also deserve mention for the glorious fervor with which they go at each other during their fight scene. Margo Hall does a hilarious gender-swapped turn as Bottom, even if the play-within-a-play always feels shoehorned in to me no matter how able the actors. Meanwhile Erika Chong Shuch makes an amazing Titania, her dancer's grace allowing her to literally float on the shoulders of the fairy ensemble in one scene. Shuch also acted as Movement Director for the play, adding imaginative choreographed details that contribute to the production's waking-dream qualities. And most importantly this Dream manages to encompass all the passion and poignancy of love as it is gained and lost and gained again. "Oh what fools these mortals be" indeed.