Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called 12 Nights. It was based on the Shakespeare play Twelfth Night and various other plays. This is a very interesting version because it didn't have a bunch of actors; it only had four. This play is very funny. It is a Shakespeare play, but it is not like a Shakespeare play, but it also is. It is like a Shakespeare play because it has basically the same plot, but there are lots of changes that they made. The language was Shakespearean sometimes, but they switch back and forth a lot between the language that we use now and Shakespearean language. You feel very comfortable watching it, but you also feel kind of strange. When you go to a Twelfth Night at a place where they are very serious about Shakespeare they will do a completely un-made-up version of the play. But they don't do that here. What they do here is punk-rock-er. They've changed up things and they made it more captivating. Strange and funny things happen when you don't expect them.
When you go and see this show, you walk in, and they give you cookies, and you can draw on the wall. Then they lead you into this room where there are a bunch of lawn chairs and everything is painted like it's a rainbow. I think they did that because it is kind of fun to be led from a dark-ish room into a really colorful room; it is like a complete change of mood. It is supposed to remind people of holidays: like St. Patrick's Day and Easter and Christmas are all colorful days. There are also these comfortable plastic chairs that are kind of like beach chairs. Sometimes when you go to shows, the chairs aren't so comfy, but these are really relaxing.
Many of the characters were gender-reversed from the original story, like Viola (Zeke Sulkes) and Aguecheek (Christine Stulik) and Malvolio (Tien Doman). I thought that was really great because it made the play really fun to watch. I wasn't expecting that most of the actors would play different genders of characters; it was a fun surprise because you can make a lot of funny moments with gender switching. Some of my favorite moments wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for the gender switching. At the beginning, Viola tells you, "You know, because I am actually a lady. (Get used to it)" when the actor is clearly a man. That really made me laugh. The holy-father-fisherman (Doman) was one of my favorite characters; I liked him because he was a very lovable and funny character and it was great that a girl played him because I thought that character was perfect for that actor even though she wasn't old or a man.
I really liked the scene where Sir Toby Belch (Jeff Trainor), Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and Feste (Sulkes) were having a party. And Aguecheek, when he came in, he brought this little fridge, and he said, "And in this little fridge I have brought you...BEER!" And everybody was like dancing like, "yay! We got beer!" And all the actors were getting beer from the fridge. But it wasn't actually beer, it was sparkling water. Sir Andrew Aguecheek had this awesome accent that somebody described as "a nondescript European" accent. When they started drinking beer, Maid Mary (Doman) decided that she was going drink with them, but then she's like "I don't want to be seen drinking with you guys, but still I'll have one last beer." So she had to be against it, but she didn't really want to be against it. And she wouldn't have been able to stay, even if the character wanted to stay, because Malvolio was coming and she also played Malvolio!
I thought it was kind of a strange moment when Viola fell in love with the Duke (Trainor). They were singing along to mixed tapes in like this romantic way. It was kind of weird because they basically just started kissing after they had listened to all the mix tapes. If you are not gay, you probably wouldn't just kiss another boy just because of mix tapes. In the Shakespeare version, the Duke doesn't really want to express his feelings. But here he really did express it, even though he says later he is not gay.
One thing that kind of bothered me was how they told everybody that Viola was a girl by showing us that she had toenail polish on. Yesterday I saw a grown man wearing nail polish and toenail polish on the street. I've been seeing more boys lately wearing nail polish and stuff. That didn't really tell me that he wasn't a boy. That wasn't the best most descriptive way that they could have shown it. I would have suggested grabbing a pink dress and pulling it on over because that would have been a bigger thing and would have suggested it more, even though it doesn't make him a girl.
People who would like this show are people who like Shakespeare, rainbows, and mix tapes. People should go see this show because it is a really fun show to watch. It is a great experience because it is different from any old Twelfth Night. People should definitely go see this show; it is fuhlarious!
Photos: Matthew Gregory Hollis