“The course of true love never did run smooth.” Now cue the cheesy horror music and the unmistakable smell of Halloween costumes! Neal Freeman’s The Nightmare ‘Dream’ is a mash-up of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Dracula in a very literal way: Every word is taken directly from either Shakespeare’s play or Bram Stoker’s novel. The gothic trappings make it immediately clear that something more sinister than the usual forest romp is afoot; as Lysander and fair Hermia attempt to elope, Oberon (less traditional fairy king than heavy-metal vampire) puts his evil plan in motion. But as the plot progresses, one gets the sense that two separate shows are happening concurrently, instead of a fluid whole; the often-amusing cast can’t quite make the two halves come together. Fashionable as it might be these days to combine unusual flavors, this strawberry-garlic mix tastes off.—Raymond Bermudez
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