‘Twelfth Night’ Shows Audiences ‘How’ It’s Done

It’s never about the Who, What, When, or Where.

When it comes to performing Shakespeare, the ‘Who’ can be someone famous. You can bring in a star to perform a classic, but that certainly doesn’t guarantee a quality production. The ‘What’ will never be refreshing by itself. In this day and age, even the most obscure of the Bard’s plays have been performed thousands of times across the world. The ‘When’ and ‘Where’ can act as window dressing. You can perform day or night, outdoors or in an abandoned warehouse, or even in an actual theatre. That still won’t make your show memorable. It’s never about the Who, What, When, or Where.

It’s about the How.

How do you keep well known shows fresh? How do you put your own stamp on characters and shows that have been performed over and over again throughout the years? How do you reach out to today’s audience and bring them into a world of classical theatre without holding their hand through the whole thing? How do you make a show for them?

For Director Anthony Clark-Kaczmarek and Nebraska Shakespeare’s production of Twelfth Night, the answer to the ‘How’ was summed up in two words:

Suess-Punk.

Characters were clad in bright neon dresses, fedoras, track suits, and kilts with hair to match. Highlights (no pun intended) were Olivia (Sarah Carlson-Brown) as Illyria’s version of Lady Gaga while Duke Orsino (Beethoven Oden) brought a style and swagger reminiscent of Outkast’s Andre 3000.

Contemporary music was spliced throughout the show with lyrics adjusted to reflect the character’s thoughts, feelings, and predicaments. Veronica Benton and Oden set the tone for the whole show, belting out Journey’s “When the Light’s Go Down in Illyria”.

Other outstanding moments include the always hilarious Dan Chevalier as Sir Andrew and Nick Albrecht as Sir Toby dancing out the Beastie Boys’ “Brass Monkey”. John Hardy’s Malvolio had the audience in stitches during his cross-gartered rendition of LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It”. Best of all might have been Maria (Moira Mangiameli) and her band of clowns finishing off Act One with the spot-on dance of Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’. An impromptu dance party broke out when kids all over the park stood up and danced right along with the actors.

Memorable performances too numerous to mention, great pacing, and fantastic comedic timing made for one enjoyable evening. Even my guests (some of whom hadn’t been to Shakes on the Green in over 10 years) left thoroughly entertained and reinvigorated to the works of The Bard. As we were leaving, everyone was making plans to come back for Titus Andronicus this weekend and maybe even the week after for another round Twelfth Night tomfoolery.

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com

posted at 10:25 pm
on Monday, June 24th, 2013

COMMENTS

(We're testing Disqus commenting (finally!); please let us know if you have trouble.)

comments powered by Disqus

 

« Previous Page


Cast Members Talk ‘Buffalo’, Rose Takes on Seuss

- The BLUEBARN Theatre is currently tackling the David Mamet classic American Buffalo, running now through October 25th. The theatre first performed the play in its inaugural season back in 1989....

more »


Ballet Nebraska Kicks Off Fifth Season with ‘Giselle’

            Ballet Nebraska will kick off its fifth season this Saturday, October 4th, with the performance of Giselle. Erika Overturff, artistic director of Ballet Nebraska, called the show one the...

more »


Adams Officially Off and Running with “Drowsy”

            With The Drowsy Chaperone in full swing, Hilary Adams now has a full production under her belt as the new Omaha Playhouse Artistic Director. Adams talked with me about the process of...

more »


The Rose Interns Take on ‘The Brave Little Tailor’

            As a part of a unique internship at The Rose Theater, local high school seniors will present The Brave Little Tailor, a script adapted by Rose playwright-in-residence, Brian Guehring,...

more »


Playhouse’s Alternative Programming Expanding

The Omaha Community Playhouse announced it’s latest offerings of alternative programming with some notable expansions. Returning for another year are the ‘21 & Over’ staged reading series, ‘The Play...

more »







Advanced Search