‘Twelfth Night’ runs for more evenings than that

Rutina Wesley as Viola and Sara Topham as Olivia in The Old Globe's 2015 Summer Shakespeare Festival production of Twelfth Night, directed by Rebecca Taichman, June 21 - July 26, 2015. Photo by Jim Cox.

Rutina Wesley as Viola and Sara Topham as Olivia in The Old Globe’s 2015 Summer Shakespeare Festival production of Twelfth Night, directed by Rebecca Taichman, June 21 – July 26, 2015. Photo by Jim Cox.

By Erin Philips

Erin Philips

Erin Philips

SAN DIEGO – A shipwreck, mistaken identities, a love triangle, grief and a gaggle of madcap players – Twelfth Night, running through July 26, kicks off the 2015 Summer Shakespeare Festival at The Old Globe.

The production in the open-air Lowell Davies Festival Theatre is wildly romantic, filled with vivid colors, lush costumes, exquisite verse and oodles of roses. The story begins when Viola is stranded in a foreign land and disguises herself as a boy to serve the Duke Orsino. As the messenger of Orsino’s lovesick entreaties, she unwittingly becomes the object of the beautiful Countess Olivia’s affection. Swirling around the lovers, a contingency of guests, relatives and servants add to the comedic and cruel havoc and delight.

Music is a key element of the play – from the famous first line, “If music be the food of love, play on,” to the sad tune Orsino listens to over and over on a gramophone, the fool Feste’s simple songs and expert fiddling, and the playful introduction to the second act featuring the women of the ensemble dancing, stripping off their sweaters and dumping wheelbarrows full of roses into the shallow pool that rings the back of the stage.

The star-studded cast includes Rutina Wesley of True Blood fame as Viola, Sara Topham as Olivia, and Terence Archie as Orsino. Concert pianist Manoel Felciano plays Feste, and Broadway actors Amy Aquino, Robert Joy, and LeRoy McClain star as Maria, Malvolio, and Sebastian. The comic antics of trio Patrick Kerr as Andrew Aguecheek, Tom McGowan as Sir Toby Belch and Daniel Petzold as Fabian are a highlight of the show.

The stunning production is directed by Rebecca Taichman, returning to the Globe after directing last year’s Time and the Conways. As an award-winning director and co-creator of The Green Violin, a musical about the Soviet Yiddish Theatre and its relationship with Marc Chagall, her vision makes this a theatergoing experience not to be missed.

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Philips is a freelance writer specializing in coverage of cuisine and the arts.  You may comment to [email protected] or post your comment on this website provided that the comment is civil and that you identify yourself by full name and by your city and state of residence.

 

 

 

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