M. SCOTT MCLEAN AND REBECCA HART IN "MIDSUMMER" PHOTOS BY LANNY NAGLER
Do you fancy an evening of sweetness, silliness, secrets and songs with a specifically Scottish favor? It’s officially midsummer, so how appropriate that “Midsummer (a play with songs)” by David Greig and Gordon McIntyre will be offered by TheaterWorks of Hartford until Sunday, August 21.
Even though the heroine of “Midsummer” is named Helena and there are running romps through the “forests” of Edinburgh, there is little resemblance to the Bard’s work with a longer, similar title. This Helena is guarding a secret, a truth she refuses to acknowledge even to herself. As a successful divorce lawyer, she has, nonetheless, taken the unrealistic path of an affair with a married man.
Now ensconced in a wine bar, nursing her wounds, she makes the impetuous decision to approach a lone man and suggest he share her bottle of vino. Robert, Bobby, Bob, a small time hoodlum, quickly agrees and this quirky, unlikely relationship is born. Rebecca Hart’s Helena and M. Scott McLean’s Bob are perfection together, as each uses guitars and banjo and a score of original tunes to establish a journey of bizarre adventures that may or may not lead them to romance.
For one long weekend, this pair become cohorts in and out of bed, telling stories, running away from angry brides and even angrier bosses, getting drunk, accumulating a cadre of accomplices and spending the fruits of Bob’s illegal activities.
The occasion of Bob’s thirty-fifth birthday sets off a jaunt that includes Elmo, a pair of dancing lobsters, tambourines, a pink convertible, a missed wedding, a closed bank, IKEA, morning sickness and meatballs, and more. Director Tracy Brigden keeps the action frothy and fun and fast-paced, laced with charm and crazy comedy.
For tickets ($40-65), call TheaterWorks, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford at 860-527-7838 or online at www.theaterworkshartford.org. Performances are Tuesday to Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.