Chesapeake Shakespeare Firm has opened its Twentieth season with Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night time. Set in an Edwardian seaside resort and directed by CSC’s Founding Creative Director Ian Gallanar, the comedy covers themes of longing, loss, therapeutic, and nostalgia — not solely within the manufacturing’s efficient staging and design but additionally in CSC’s historical past with this play.
A romantic comedy a few love triangle, mistaken identities, cross-dressing, drunken revelries, and sophisticated pranks, it’s Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Sizzling onstage. Within the aristocratic love triangle of Duke Orsino, Viola (as Cesario), and Countess Olivia, the three leads lack any chemistry, however who wants it when every presents such a compelling tackle their character? Quincy Vicks is splendidly foppish and melodramatic because the melancholic lover Orsino, swaggering throughout the stage together with his cane, throwing himself onto plush pillows in a match, and flouncing in a velvet smoking go well with. As Olivia, Elana Michelle rapidly devolves from emo woman to sexy on most important, and Lizzi Albert performs Viola’s confusion and grief nicely. Romantic hijinks ensue till the very undrowned twin brother Sebastian (the understudy William Kinna sword preventing with one of the best of them) sweeps Olivia off her toes, and Orsino learns that the lad he has been having fun with time with is a girl.
Within the Upstairs, Downstairs farcical subplot, Gregory Burgess comically straddles the road between beguiling partier and the unique “drunk uncle” Sir Toby. He’s joined by the splendidly inept suitor Sir Andrew Aguecheek (a blustery Jose Guzman); the musical clown Feste (George Michael Harris), who taunts, teases, and sings for his supper; and the cigarette-chomping, trouser-wearing driver Fabian (Laura Malkus). The true mastermind of all this chaos, Maria, is performed by the pleasant Kathryne Daniels, who knowingly winks on the viewers as she devises the revenge subplot in opposition to the puritanical Malvolio.
Nevertheless it’s additionally a play about loss and unhappiness, from the shipwreck that separates Viola and Sebastian to Duke Orsino and Countess Olivia’s melancholic musings, and from Sebastian’s obvious betrayal of the loyal Antonio to the tormenting of Malvolio. Gallanar’s manufacturing makes house for grief and loss — Olvia and Viola are each younger girls mourning the lack of members of the family, in spite of everything — however makes positive to conclude with contentment and group.
Even amongst a solid clearly having a lot enjoyable onstage, Ron Heneghan as Malvolio is excellent as Shakespeare’s notorious killjoy. Heneghan sneers on the tomfoolery throughout him; he seems to be down his nostril at Viola, instances Toby’s speeches with a pocket watch, and squints by way of his monocle whereas studying a cast love letter. Although he swears revenge on everybody (together with the viewers) after a merciless prank, he fortunately joins the ultimate refrain and shutting jig as a result of that is Illyria, the place therapeutic occurs.
Early on Orsino declares, “If music be the meals of affection, play on.” Composer Dan O’Brien and Music Administrators Grace Srinivasan and Emi Erickson ensure Shakespeare’s prose is enlivened by frequent musical interludes — and sung by Harris’ Feste with accompaniment from different solid members — starting from a Speaking Heads cowl to a sea shanty along with O’Brien’s musical preparations of Shakespearean songs from the 2002 manufacturing.
Designed by Timothy Jones, the set creates the romantic coastal city of Illyria with a number of sweeping gestures: a mast and sails hovering upward upstage, a stone tower lined in vines, and ocean-blue baroque tiling on the stage. Illyria is nearly magical: melancholics discover pleasure, the grieving discover solace, and even midsummer insanity is cured right here. It’s a spot each out and in of time, although the costumes floor the play extra particularly.
Kristina Lambdin’s Edwardian-era costume designs seize the in-betweenness of this brief historic interval (1901–1910), neither as stuffy because the Victorian period nor as freewheeling because the Roaring Twenties. Likewise, the colours and textures seize the sense of aristocratic leisure and give attention to out of doors sports activities of the interval, from striped bathing costumes to natty plaid fits to Olivia’s modern sailor collar.
The manufacturing — candy and nostalgic — is apropos. Twelfth Night time was the primary play of the fledgling Chesapeake Shakespeare Firm 20 years in the past at a small black field theater in Ellicott Metropolis, Maryland. As Gallanar — director of that authentic manufacturing, too — defined throughout a brief speech at intermission, the entire viewers would’ve crammed solely the entrance two middle rows of the corporate’s present dwelling in downtown Baltimore. Seated within the viewers had been some members of the unique solid and crew in addition to members of the family. Technical Director and Composer Dan O’Brien fittingly performed Feste twenty years in the past, Govt Director Lesley Malin performed Maria within the 2002 manufacturing, and whereas Costume Designer Kristina Lambdin did not design costumes for that first work, she was already on board by CSC’s second manufacturing.
Twelfth Night time is in the end a play about love, group, and belonging in all of its messy, chaotic, and love-filled methods. This extremely satisfying Twentieth-anniversary manufacturing absolutely embraces that sense of miraculous reunions and discovering the precise place to make a house.
Operating Time: Two hours 20 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.
Twelfth Night time performs by way of October 23, 2022, at Chesapeake Shakespeare Firm – 7 South Calvert Avenue, Baltimore, MD. Ticket costs vary from $24 to $69, with reductions out there for active-duty army, seniors, and anybody age 25 or youthful. Tickets could be bought on-line, by calling 410-244-8570, or by visiting the Field Workplace in particular person.
COVID Security: All patrons, no matter age, are required to be masked whereas within the theater. Full Well being and Security FAQs are right here.
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Ian Gallanar
Lizzi Albert – Viola
Tyrel Brown – Valentine/officer
Gregory Burgess – Sir Toby
Ian Charles – Sebastian
Kathryne Daniels – Maria
Jose Guzman – Sir Andrew
David Hanauer– Sea Captain
George Michael Harris – Feste
Oz Heiligman – Antonio
Ron Heneghan+ – Malvolio
Jade Jones – Woman in Ready
Laura Malkus – Fabian
Elana Michelle – Olivia
Grant Scherini – Curio/officer
Quincy Vicks – Orsino
Ian Gallanar – Director
Lesley Malin – Producing Govt Director
Sarah Curnoles – Manufacturing Supervisor
Alexis E. Davis – Stage Supervisor
Bernard Johnson – Assistant Director
Dan O’Brien – Technical Director
Tim Jones – Set Designer
Kristina Lambdin – Costume Designer
Grace Srinivasan – Music Director
Jason Aufdem-Brinke – Lighting Designer
Kaydin Hamby – Sound Designer
Trey Smart – Props Designer
Emi Erickson – Vocal and Textual content Coach, Co-music Director
Lauren Engler – Choreographer
Eva Hill – Assistant Stage Supervisor
Hanna Brill – Wardrobe Supervisor
Jen Katz – Lighting Designer Assistant
Christopher Niebling – Combat and Intimacy Choreographer