Edgy and updated, twists on Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' hit the mark - Omaha.com
go logo
article photo
article photo
“Twelfth Night” actors are, from left, Beethovan Oden as Orsino, Sarah Carlson-Brown as Olivia, Brittany Proia as Viola and Joe Lullo as Feste.


SHAKESPEARE ON THE GREEN REVIEW

Edgy and updated, twists on Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' hit the mark
By Bob Fischbach / World-Herald staff writer


It's an out-there concept — one that Shakespeare purists might regard as some kind of heresy.

But director Anthony Clark-Kaczmarek's idea of infusing the bard's “Twelfth Night” with snippets of contemporary tunes worked like gangbusters at Nebraska Shakespeare's 27th opening night Thursday.

Whether it was rowdy and ridiculous Sir Toby Belch (Nick Albrecht) and Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Dan Chevalier) doing the “Brass Monkey,” or Olivia (Sarah Carlson-Brown) pining for her new heartthrob with “Call Me Maybe,” or mischievous servant Maria (Moira Mangiameli) and her co-conspirators breaking into “Gangnam Style” dancing, the crowd of nearly 900 seemed to get a big charge out of it all. (Courtney Stein's choreography is right on.)

Clark-Kaczmarek and music director Joel Johnston carefully chose the tunes to fit the feelings of the characters and plot, and they even inserted some of Shakespeare's words into the lyrics. “Moves Like Jagger” became “Moves Like Feste,” the fool (Joe Lullo). And the show opened with Duke Orsino (Beethovan Oden) crooning “When the Lights Go Down in Illyria,” where the story is set, rather than in the city.

The plot is just silly enough that contemporizing it with smartphones and hip-hop and hair streaked in fluorescent colors mostly feels right on the money.

“Twelfth Night” revolves around shipwrecked twins Viola (Brittany Proia) and Sebastian (Mitch Conti), each believing the other may be dead. Viola decides to disguise herself as a man, Cesario, in order to become Duke Orsino's manservant.

Twelfth Night

What: Nebraska Shakespeare stage comedy

Where: Elmwood Park, just southeast of Weber Fine Arts Building at UNO, 6001 Dodge St.

Admission: Free but a free-will offering will be taken.

When: Thursday through Sunday and July 3, 5 and 7. Activities on the green begin at 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m.

Information: nebraskashakespeare.com or 402-280-2391

The duke is in love with Olivia, but when he sends Cesario to plead his case, Olivia instead falls for Cesario. But Cesario, that is Viola, is actually head over heels for Duke Orsino. It's your basic unrequited love triangle.

Meanwhile, Olivia's coterie — Sir Andrew, Sir Toby, Maria and Fabian (Konrad Case) — is tired of her stuffy household steward, Malvolio (John Hardy). They make a fool of him by forging a love letter from Olivia, which causes him to become a gigantic fool for love (“I'm Sexy and I Know It”).

But then, isn't everybody in this story? Toby pushes drinking buddy Andrew as a suitor to his niece, Olivia. And Olivia, mistaking Sebastian for his sister Viola (that is, Cesario), marries him.

Clark-Kaczmarek infuses the entire evening with inspired bits of funny business. Chevalier, Case and Albrecht are particularly adept at executing it, and Mangiameli is a hoot and a half with her mischievous ways.

Costumer Lindsay Pape has a field day with bright colors and outlandish fashion. This is probably the only “Twelfth Night” you'll ever see in which Viola wears Converse All-Star tennies, Sir Toby wears his hair in cornrows, Sir Andrew combines a kilt with a Poison T-shirt and Feste sports a 6-inch-high mohawk.

Clark-Kaczmarek is also lucky to have some accomplished crooners in his cast. They include, in particular, Oden as the Duke, Carlson-Brown as Olivia and Proia as Viola/Sebastian — all of whom are terrific in principal roles.

Yes, a couple of songs go on a little long or are not as well sung — Elton John tunes are vocal alchemy — but the overall concept is one you'll likely either love or hate.

Thursday's crowd was overwhelmingly into it, and the show looks to be a comedic hit.

Contact the writer: Bob Fischbach

bob.fischbach@owh.com    |   402-444-1269

Bob reviews movies and local theater productions and writes stories about those topics, as well.

Read more stories by Bob


Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom


Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

Omaha shop's ice cream named one of the best in the U.S.
Omaha shop's ice cream named one of the best in the U.S.

Ted & Wally’s Ice Cream is featured in a new book focused on the best ice creams across the nation.


Lincoln's Pershing Center announces what might be its final concert
Lincoln's Pershing Center announces what might be its final concert

Arena will probably go out in a flame of Goo Goo.


Missing 3-year-old boy found in claw machine at Lincoln bowling alley
Missing 3-year-old boy found in claw machine at Lincoln bowling alley

He was uninjured and playing happily with the stuffed animals in the machine.


How to win a $4,300 ‘Walking Dead #1' comic while also doing something nice
How to win a ,300 ‘Walking Dead #1' comic while also doing something nice

A local comic book shop is once again raffling away a pricey issue for a good cause.


Omaha, Lincoln record stores ready for their day in the sun
Omaha, Lincoln record stores ready for their day in the sun

If you’re dying to get some cool swag on your record shelf, Record Store Day is the most wonderful day of the year.


'American Idol' tour to play Council Bluffs' Stir Cove
'American Idol' tour to play Council Bluffs' Stir Cove

The show's season finale will air on May 20, and the tour of the show's top 10 finalists will begin about a month later on June 24.


Review: ‘Heaven is for Real’ leaves it to viewer to interpret its story
Review: ‘Heaven is for Real’ leaves it to viewer to interpret its story

My first reaction to “Heaven Is for Real” after a recent preview screening: best Christian-themed movie I’ve seen in quite a while. Two weeks later, that hasn’t changed.


Nebraska family and town depicted on the big screen in 'Heaven is for Real'
Nebraska family and town depicted on the big screen in 'Heaven is for Real'

Imperial family feels Colton's inspirational story got heaven-sent production and reverential handling


What to watch: An all-new 'Americans' on FX
What to watch: An all-new 'Americans' on FX

In this week's episode, Philip and Elizabeth both face painful turns in their respective missions while Stan tries to access an American military program.


5 religious movies to watch again

Sunday is Easter. That, combined with the opening of “Heaven Is for Real,” put us in mind of some of our favorite Christian-themed movies.


 
Search
Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings






Read this!








VIDEOS

Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved