Friday, September 21, 2007

Twelfe Night

Twelfe Night
The Seattle Repertory Theatre
September 13th - October 20th
Tickets and Information

That would be Twelfe Night with an “F”. This spelling is taken from the First Folio Edition of Shakespeare’s works due to the fact that “In Queen Elizabeth I’s time, there were no hard and fast rules for spelling…” This modification on the better-known spelling is just the first unique styling choice that was utilized in the Seattle Rep’s production. The classic work is transplanted into a modern style world where the actors take on modern day archetypes, sport fashionable costumes and travel through a simple set that keeps its weary shipwrecked look throughout the entire production. All these design elements (set: Michael Pavelka, Costume: Frances Kenny, Lighting: Scott Zielinski) combine to create an intriguing world that may at times seem disjointed yet always excite the interest of the eye.

From underwater simulations and minimal sets to dynamic costumes and lights, the designers create a world that catches the audience at every turn. The set brings in an interesting use of depth and perspective while the lights help to transition the focus from soliloquy to fight and day to night. With so many ideas working the stage, elements sometimes clash, possibly confusing audience members as they watch the characters interact with their surroundings. This does not, however, distract the audience from the moments of hilarity that dance across the stage throwing the onlookers into fitful laughter. At the basis of the show is a root in slapstick comedy, which clearly keeps not only the audience but also the actors on their toes.

Photo Credit: Chris Bennion

The many energetic familiar faces from around Seattle fuel the energy and fervor of the humor that drives this show. These actors present high energy and flexible comedic timing that pull the viewers into their world. Each actor creates a fabulously unique character that finds many ways to work in the outrageous costumes and dynamic set. There did seem to be some easing into the roles, but once comfortable they gave fantastic performances. This long list of well-known local talent along with the humor and excitement to match creates a show that is an enjoyable experience for all theatergoers. Catch Twelfe Night at The Seattle Repertory Theatre thru October 20th.

Review By: Rick Skyler

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