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Husson Theater present Twelfth Night'

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BANGOR - This past weekend, Husson University Theater put on 'Twelfth Night,' directed by Christy Bruton. One of Shakespeare's comedies, 'Twelfth Night' centers around a shipwrecked woman named Viola (played by Nichole Sparlin) as she takes on the identity of Cesario so that she can work for Duke Orsino (played by Nick Kovarik). She has a twin brother who she believes died in the shipwreck. What follows is a twisted web of deception, mistaken identity and love.

The acting in this production is spot on. Sparlin does a fantastic job as the central character Viola. She is funny when she needs to be but also has no problem pulling off the slightly more serious moments. As the plot thickens and the misunderstandings add up, she plays Viola with a believable hint of confused panic. Kimberlee Lewis plays the character of Oliva, a wealthy woman who falls in love with who she believes to be Cesario. Her moments of frustration with Sir Toby (played by Kody Vaghan) are some of the funniest moments.

The funniest plot line revolves around several people, including Sir Toby tricking Olivia's Steward Malvolio (played by Logan Bard) into believing that Olivia is in love with him. This plot involves far too many characters for me to give credit where credit is due to everyone, but they all do very well. This drives Malvolio into madness, and Bard gets a lot of laughs as he transitions from a snobby steward to a raving lunatic.

One character I have to mention is the classic fool present in most of Shakespeare's work. As usual, this fool is actually the wisest character in the story. This time the fool goes by the name Feste, played by Mejda Ouled Taieb. She did an absolutely perfect job playing this character. Taieb brings a slight mysteriousness to the character but remains funny, clever and wise. In the play Feste sings but in this production Feste raps. The first time it happened it caught me entirely by surprise and was hilarious. The other times it happened it wasn't as surprising but was still funny and a clever way to bring this story to the modern day backdrop they have it set against.

The set is quite impressive: a modern day alleyway that looks like it is located on the bad side of town. All of the characters are dressed appropriately for the setting, but not in such a way that they appear as grungy as the background. The lighting really pulls it together, bringing you from one location to another even though the backdrop never changes.

Shakespeare can be a tough nut to crack - especially his comedies. The difference in language can easily lead to jokes falling flat or being timed poorly, but those involved in this clearly understood exactly how to put this production on.

Last modified on Wednesday, 09 December 2015 00:29


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