Entering its fifth century since publication in 1623's First Folio, audience delight continues to resound at Twelfth Night in the 24th year of Island Stage Left.
The summer production opens as late afternoon sun glows orange red on nearby madrone trunks stage left and yellow-gold on stage right scenery, two stories high on both sides. Center stage arches frame fir and sky in the landscape behind. During evening's course, the sun sets and waxing gibbous moon rises faint white crossing the stage from Orsino's home just shy of and bright white at full dark above Olivia's.
The contracting lens from wide landscape to stage center increases drama as true identity roils confusion. Playful costumes and delight in pranks keep one laughing as characters seek love amid disguise. Miserable Malvolio's yellow stockings stand in contrast to Olivia's emerging elegance and happiness. Surface gaiety yields to heartfelt clarity.
Like costumes, music underscores shape shifting . To open, jolly sea shanties and a raging storm set aural moods. Trepidation. Fear. Or, Cesario's plucking a mandolin and clear dulcet voice singing Georgia Smith's composition for "Come Away Death". Longing. Attraction .
Logic and heart's competition resolves in joyful song and, after Shakespeare's tenterhooks, the audience floats away on laughter and good feeling. Not to be missed!!! Twelfth Night under the stars at 1062 Wold Road: Th, Fri, Sat, Sun at 8 pm thru 20 August. (NO show Sat, 29 July.*)
- Gay Wilmerding