‘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


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 »


Business Suits and Raves

            The unique design of Enron by Lucy Prebble at the Omaha Community Playhouse blends the worlds of Realism and Absurdism. In one moment, the show is meticulously dissecting the ins and outs...

more »


‘Les Miz’ Dominates TAG Awards

The night belonged to Les Miserables at the 47th Annual Theatre Arts Guild Awards, honoring the past season’s outstanding accomplishments in Omaha area theatre. The winner for Best Musical, Les Miz...

more »


Director Thompson Talks About “Abby”

            The Shelterbelt Theatre’s latest production entitled Abby in the Summer by A.P. Andrews is going into its final two weekends. Director Beth Thompson took some time to answer some...

more »


TAG Nominations Highlight This Year’s Best Efforts

            Last week, I had the pleasure of announcing the nominations for the 47th Annual Theatre Arts Guild Awards accompanied by my partner in crime Ablan Robin. It was a great chance for members...

more »







Advanced Search