Here we go again! This December, The City Shakespeare Company presents a very family unfriendly version of Twelfth Night, and you’re not going to want to miss it.
I play Olivia in this production, the countess who, suffering from the loss of her father and brother, refuses the romantic advances of Orsino. Instead, she favors the frequent visits of Cesario, Orsino’s servant, who (unbeknownst to her) is actually a woman in disguise. Hilarity ensues.
I have to admit that when it comes to Shakespeare, I’m really more a fan of the tragedies. Give me Hamlet or Macbeth and I’m set. Give me Othello or King Lear and I’m captivated. But comedy? Eh. Okay, I’ll do it, but usually it’s just because someone else (ie: Brooke Bishop or Colin Martin) really wants me to.
As a writer, I find that my expertise really lies in writing thorough, comedic dialogue. I like writing comedic characters and situations, and I really enjoy watching actors act them out. But as an actor, man… I’ll tell ya, it really gets me when a woman is going through some TOUGH times and she has to deal with managing her husband and killing a king (can you tell I still have Macbeth on the brain?).
This play, though considered by many people to be a comedy, actually has quite a lot of dramatic and heart breaking elements (I’m writing this as if “heart breaking elements” is going to make you want to see it more…). Malvolio is tricked into believing the woman of his dreams adores him, and is punished for it. Olivia (me!) falls in love with a man… who is actually a woman. Orsino is in love with a woman who won’t even see him in person. Viola believes she lost her brother, and dresses up as a man, only to have a woman shamelessly hit on her and beg to be married.
So. Not everyone is happy in paradise.
This play, although highly comedic at moments (especially when the talented Colin Martin takes the stage as Sir Toby Belch) actually displays a level of humanity that borders on insanity (and aren’t we all just… a little… insane… anyway?).
I suggest you see if it you’re in the Los Angeles area. I could probably get you a discount if we’re friends. If we’re not friends, buy a ticket (www.cityshakes.org) and meet me afterward. You’re in for some show!
See ya there -