REVIEW: Hedgerow takes on ‘Don Quixote’

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Hedgerow Theatre continues its season with the classic piece “Don Quixote,” by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, adapted by Keith Dewhurst. Cervantes masterpiece focuses on a possibly delusional gentleman who believes he is actually a knight errant named Don Quixote (excellently played by Brian McCann). Don Quixote embarks on a mission to bring back chivalry. He enlists the help of his farmer-tuned-squire Sancho Panza (the very funny Zoran Kovcic). During his journeys, he meets a plethora of ordinary people and everyday objects that his imagination transforms into fantastical adventures. Most famous, perhaps, is Don Quixote’s epic battle with what he sees are giants but are actually windmills.
McCann and Kovcic were backed by a talented ensemble (Colleen Marker, Jennifer Summerfield, Allison Bloechl, Susan Wefel, Devon Walls, Brock Vickers and Lily Dwoskin), who each effectively played several different characters.

Ashley LaBonde photo Brian McCann as Don Quixote. Peformances continue through June 7.

Ashley LaBonde photo
Brian McCann as Don Quixote. Peformances continue through June 7.

Director Jared Reed took some bold chances with the show. Some paid off, others didn’t. The use of screens and shadows (set designer Chris Kleckner) was very well done, aided by creative puppets by Alisa Kleckner. Reed also kept his stage hands in view of the audience, not hiding any of the backstage work so necessary to a successful show. While this seems unconventional, it worked in the production’s favor, although I did not understand or see the need for the red clown noses the ensemble often donned. The fact that the players were dressed in black was enough of a contradiction to the costumes (designed by Sarah Mitchell) of the main characters. Sound by Patrick Lamorn, along with the lighting, was also nicely done. While there were elements of comedy and adventure, the production lacked a cohesiveness that made it difficult to follow. The opening promised great things that the rest of the show did not live up to. Most of the action took place in the distant past (1500s and 1600s), which made things like modern dress and sound effects (the beeping of a hospital monitor, contemporary scrubs) out of place.
IF YOU GO: “Don Quixote” runs at Hedgerow Theatre, 64 Rose Valley Road, Rose Valley (near Media) through June 7. Tickets for Wednesday matinees are $25 for adults and $22 for seniors, Thursday evenings are $29 for adults and $26 for seniors and Friday, Saturday, Sunday shows are $34 for adults and $31 for seniors. All student tickets are $15. For times, tickets or information, call 610-565-4211 or visit www.HedgerowTheatre.org.

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