Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-06-26
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Twelfth Night
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Playwright: William Shakespeare

At: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe. Tickets: 847-242-6000;; $35-$80. Runs through: Dec. 16

In Shakespeare's mostly rollicking romantic comedy As You Like It, a country maiden resisting an ardent suitor is warned, "Sell while you can, you are not for all markets."

This caution might apply to Michael Halberstam's radical interpretation of Shakespeare's other mostly rollicking romantic comedy, Twelfth Night, which won't be for all tastes despite impeccable and thoughtful execution. Its somber temper generally eschews frivolity, despite bright and sunlit lighting ( John Culbert, lighting design ) against a vibrant blue ocean framed by classical arches ( William Boles, scenic design ) and sporting a dozen colorful floral-patterned costumes ( Mara Blumenfeld, costume design ). There is silliness, yes, but little frivolity.

Perhaps it's the slightly disturbing set, with its stark row of white arches crying for paint and suggesting ( it must be intentional ) the surrealist architecture of Giorgio de Chirico's paintings. Perhaps it's the famous opening lines of Duke Orsino ( Matthew C. Yee ), "If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die," spoken not to music but to a violent storm, maybe the very storm that shipwrecks twins Viola ( Jennifer Latimore ) and Sebastian ( Luce Metrius ).

Perhaps it's the matter-of-fact, controlled delivery of most dialogue, almost never giving voice to the emotions being expressed, and deliberately avoiding comic business and raucousness. Perhaps it's the clown, Feste, richly portrayed by William Brown ( in a long-hoped-for return to acting ) as older and definitely more world-weary than usual. Perhaps it's the chilling narcissism of Sean Fortunato's brilliantly ( and literally ) buttoned-up Malvolio, all the more incongruous a buffoon in his devastating self-deception.

It's all these things, actually, and more besides in an interpretation in which grand emotions—especially, but not only, love—are madness and self-deception; madness in which thunder and lightning are music, sexuality is ambivalent ( long recognized in the play ), gender is fluid, the great of society seem slighter and less worthy than those they rule, and life never seems to strike the right balance between black sobriety and florid extremity ( so brilliantly represented in the costumes ). Even composer Josh Schmidt's wonderful, Spanish-flavored original music—much of it feelingly sung by Brown—prefers languid tempi and long melody lines over peppy tunes and upbeat rhythms.

So this isn't the vivacious, often-boisterous comedy many regard as the defining quality of Twelfth Night, and probably not the production for 10- or 12-year-olds who've never seen it before; but you'll be rewarded if you go with that in mind and let it "play on" for you, although you might experience a tinge of sadness at the end.

Other principals in the fine cast are Kevin Gudahl ( Sir Toby ), Scott Parkinson ( Sir Andrew ), Andrea San Miguel ( Olivia ) and Karen Janes Woditsch ( Maria ).

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Something Clean 2019-06-26 - Playwright: Selina Fillinger At: Sideshow Theatre and Rivendell Ensemble at Victory Gardens Biograph, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: 773-871-3000;; $20-$30. Runs through: ...

Gay News

THEATER REVIEW The River 2019-06-26 - Playwright: Jez Butterworth At: Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: Runs through: July 28 It's both simple and impossible ...

Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-06-26 - La Havana Madrid, Teatro Vista @ The Den, extended through 30 June—Last two weeks to see this thrice-remounted musical about Chicago's Latinx history, ...

Gay News

The Second City salutes Pride 2019-06-22 - The Second City's Salute to Pride is waving a welcoming flag this June with an all LGBTQ identifying cast. Head upstairs to UP ...

Gay News

Steppenwolf Theatre Company Extends Ms. Blakk for President 2019-06-21 - CHICAGO ( June 21, 2019 ) — Due to popular demand, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has added seven more performances to the run of ...

Gay News

Hell in a Handbag to present The Drag Seed world premiere July 5 2019-06-20 - CHICAGO ( June 19, 2019 ) — Hell in a Handbag Productions continues its 2019 season with the world premiere of THE DRAG ...

Gay News

Windy City Times and Reader Theater Series 2019 2019-06-18 - Click on the link for full schedule and registration form: . ...

Gay News

THEATER Elizabeth Rex 2019-06-18 - Playwright: Timothy Findley At: Oak Park Festival Theatre at Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Ave., Oak Park. Phone: 847-; $15-$35. Runs through July 21 ...

Gay News

About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble to debut '20/20' 2019-06-18 - The About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble is celebrating its 20th anniversary with the world premiere of 20/20—a dive into recent queer history devised ...

Gay News

Terence Alan Smith: The real 'MS. BLAKK' 2019-06-18 - Terence Alan Smith, the Detroit native behind the drag persona Joan Jett Blakk, is still taken aback that a portion of his life ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.