Credit: Tom McGrath TCMcG Photography

What is lovelier than Shakespeare in the park on a day in midsummer? What
could be more meet for an afternoon of leisure than a comedy briefer than As You Like It, simpler than Twelfth Night, that gives
you song and women for your wine and speaks as much of friendship as of
love? Plus you get a puppy for your pains. Midsommer Flight delivers an
interlude of fun with its production of Two Gentlemen of Verona,
which follows the mishaps of young Valentine and Proteus as they stumble
along the rocky course between Verona, Milan, and Mantua in pursuit of
position and passion. Along the way, they encounter incompetent villains,
squabble with their servants, and write humiliatingly bad letters, all for
the love of Julia and Silvia.

More amusing than their masters are the maids and serving men: Richard
Eisloeffel as Valentine’s snarky servant, Speed; Stephanie Mattos as
Proteus’s hilarious help, Launce; and Shanna Sweeney as Julia’s mordant
minion, Lucetta. Accompanied by an adorable sidekick (canines from the
Masonic Association of Service and Therapy Dogs and New Leash on Life
taking turns in the role of Crab), Mattos in particular charms while
delivering Launce’s elliptical discourse on the disappointments of love,
especially a dog’s failure to weep at the pains of his master. An afternoon
in the park is nice—a play in the park that includes attempted rape,
banishment, disloyal friends, fickle lovers, bad fathers, robbery, and
deceit and yet ends well is nicer.   v