Shakespeare West 'Twelfth Night' starts with great promise
Review by Bridgette M. Redman
For Encore Michigan
The exuberant beginning featured tie-dyed hippies and spaced-out peaceniks grooving out to '60s music in what promised to be one big party. Had the party continued in that vein, Shakespeare West's opening night performance of "Twelfth Night" would have been an evening of delightful, comedic fun. Instead, poor vocal performances let the air out of this comedy of separated twins and mixed-up love polygons.
The play's concept works well. It is easy to see Illyria as a place of free love, where revelers light up strange substances, with hair and clothing that is long and flowing. It is especially effective to have the dour steward Malvolio, played by Director Barton Bund, duped not just with words, but with LSD poured into a burrito that he finds and consumes. His madness becomes not just that of doomed, misguided love for his mistress, but that of an overdose of drugs that plays havoc with his senses.