MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Dazed, Confused, and Lovestruck: Twelfth Night at Seattle Shakespeare

Jay Myers as Orsino and Allie Pratt as Viola. Photo by John Ulman.

Jay Myers as Orsino and Allie Pratt as Viola. Photo by John Ulman.

“Why, this is very midsummer madness!” exclaims Countess Olivia in the middle of Twelfth Night — just as the whirligigs of the plot against Malvolio start cranking away. Olivia’s normally uptight steward has been set up to believe his boss is suddenly overcome with uncontrollable passion for him and is putting on a display that makes for one of the most outrageously funny scenes in all Shakespeare.

But Malvolio’s (David Quicksall) crazed behavior is easily matched by the antics indulged in by Olivia herself (Elinor Gunn) in Seattle Shakespeare Company’s deliriously unconventional new production, which opened this past weekend and which plays through Nov. 16 at the Center Theatre at Seattle Center. Visiting director Jon Kretzu approaches Twelfth Night as if it were a vastly elaborated version of the nocturnal spell cast in the Bard’s decade-earlier A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Just about everyone seems to wander about in a woozy haze of confused, mismatched desire.

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Filed under: directors, review, Shakespeare

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