Twelfth Night

University of Colorado, November 2016

Just a few thoughts ...

In a twist on the Elizabethan practice of having only men and boys on stage ( with boys in the female roles ), director Lisa Wolpe's production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night features an all-female cast. This may be to give women more opportunities to perform Shakespeare on stage, since his plays have few female characters ( in Twelfth Night, it's just Viola, Olivia and Maria ). Another clue may be the numerous 'chorus' parts in this production, to put even more people on stage. The all-female concept mostly succeeds, although it does strain the suspension of disbelief at times.

The staging generally manages the large cast well, although at times there's so much action going on it distracts from what we should be focusing on.

The swordfights were well-done and suitably comic, and Malvolio's prison was imaginative.

The tone was a bit broad ( IMHO ), but that's a matter of personal taste. ( I'm kind of a traditionalist when it comes to Shakespeare. )

Favorite performance : Aziza Gharib as Olivia, in a very appealing and assured portrayal.

Running time : 2:30, including intermission

The bottom line : Definitely worth seeing.

( As of : 11/11/16 : 1540 )