Tonight's Musical Theater Flashback: DTC's Groovy '74 Take On Midsummer's Night Dream

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This seemed like a nice way to end the day ...

A little while ago, I was looking for something completely unrelated on the eBay when I came across this offering: an apparently very rare copy of the original cast recording of Steve Mackenroth and Randy Tallman's A Midsummer Night's Dream made at the Dallas Theater Center, where it had its world premiere during the 1973-'74 season under the legendary Paul Baker, who always did have a thing for reinterpreting William Shakespeare. But the so-called "love musical of rock madness and fantasy fun" unfortunately didn't get a proper record release; instead the album was issued on a small, locally based private label -- DADA or DODA, it depends on your source.

I called the great Elaine Liner and asked her what she knew about the album. To which she replied: Long, long ago she actually owned a bootleg copy, which she's since lost. After all, she said, she saw it "a gazillion times" when it originally played the DTC. And, indeed, this is the same show revived by Shakespeare Dallas and René Moreno in 2006 -- a year before Tallman's death on November 20, 2007. But, says Elaine, the revival wasn't nearly as good as the original: "They made it disco-esque. And in the '70s it was done as a sexy rock musical. It was way better in the '70s." Hear for yourself, as the seller -- who wants $200 for the slab o' wax -- was generous enough to offer excerpts.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


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