Entertainment & gaming

Public Theater 'Twelfth Nights' Reviews

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In telling Shakespeare’s classic tale without spoken text, the husband and wife team of Director Paata Tsikurishvili and Choreographer Irina Tsikurishvili put their cinematic and innovative spin on the 10th installment of their Wordless Shakespeare series.
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Public Works has moved into a new phase, and not just because the artistic leadership of the series has been handed down from its founder, Lear deBessonet, to the director Kwame Kwei-Armah. It still excels at what it always did well: creating deliriously ragged entertainment out of very old stories with as many people as possible.
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Everybody’s pretty much crazy in love in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” so it seems natural to include a shout-out to the Beyoncé song of that name in the contemporary musical adaptation of the play that finishes a brief Labor Day weekend run on Monday night at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.
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That theme — the distortion of identity caused by infatuation — makes for an especially rollicking and coherent Twelfth Night. It’s by no means the only coherent version possible: A few years back, in the “original practices” Twelfth Night starring Mark Rylance as Olivia, you could see, for instance, a wrenchingly psychological take on love and loss. What Public Works is so brilliantly showing us now is that great texts are as roomy as great cities. It turns out there is a continuum of expressiveness not only in people but in plays.
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It features about 130 nonprofessionals out of a total cast of 135, several in speaking roles and the rest as nonspecific Illyrians including singers, dancers, kung fu artists, taiko drummers, sign-language performers, a New Orleans–style brass band, two cops, and a postman.
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What makes Shakespeare’s plays ripe for such madcap interpolations is their very capaciousness of spirit.
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From: New York Theater Reply-To: New York Theater Date: Sunday, September 4, 2016 at 10:49 AM To: Cara De Silva Subject: [New post] Twelfth Night Review: Shakespeare as Variety Show in Central Park.
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It is, to be sure, a fun party, impressively put together and pulled off by such unsung heroes as stage manager Evangeline Rose Whitlock.
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The musical adaptation of Shakespeare's comedy featured original music by Shaina Taub, who co-conceived the production with director Kwame Kwei-Armah.
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The eye-popping colors, matched in many of the costumes by Andrea Hood, suit the production’s jubilant mood. Yes, the Countess Olivia (a gravely dignified Nanya-Akuki Goodrich) maintains her traditional mourning and resistance to the overtures of love from the Duke Orsino (a gallant, man-bunned Jose Llana). But her misery is set to music by the Jambalaya Brass Band, which trails after her, lending sweet sounds to her wailing woe.
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