Alex Mills as Puck in Synetic?s A Midsummer Night?s Dream

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Suddenly, D.C.’s the kind of theater town where hot-ticket shows have a chance at a quick comeback. In 2008, it was Forum Theatre’s incandescent The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, remounted as a season-ender after a sold-out April run. Now comes Synetic Theater’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, returning after a sizzling but too-short June run that feels like it just wrapped. You probably missed it, with your beach trips and your backyard afternoons, but we’ll forgive you—if you trust us when we say you shouldn’t let it get by you again. It’s not just that Synetic has managed, for the umpteenth time, to make something wordlessly gorgeous out of a play whose charms have a lot to do with wordplay. And it’s not just that Paata Tsikurishvili’s production is the first to take his company out of heavy-tragic territory—part of what’s given their shows such emotional punch—and into the realm of slapstick. (Brothers Marx, meet the Bard. Discuss.) It’s that Midsummer is as smart as theater-making gets: inventive, intelligent, expressive, fearless. A world-traveling theater-buff friend—and no spring chicken, mind—raved that it was one of the best things he’d ever seen on a stage. And you know what? I’m not gonna talk him down.