Twelfth Night | various locations | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Nike Kadri and Andrea San Miguel in Twelfth Night

Nike Kadri and Andrea San Miguel in Twelfth Night

Chuck Osgood

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 14 2016
I've been to Shakespeare's Globe in London, which purports to give its patrons the experience they'd have had at the original Globe Theatre in, say, 1600, when the Bard himself worked there. It was very cool. But this outdoor, traveling Twelfth Night from Chicago Shakespeare Theater feels more like I imagine an Elizabethan comedy felt to Elizabethans, never mind the fact that it's been (loosely) updated to the 1930s. Adapter-director Kirsten Kelly keeps the gestures big enough, the storytelling clear enough, the songs charming enough, and the clowning bright enough to hold the happy attention of a crowd hanging out in a big open space with plenty to distract them. Better still, there's no I'm-so-bored revisionism here. No attempt to trick up or subvert Shakespeare's landscape of fools and lovers. With an especially delightful turn by Jonathan Weir as the much-abused Malvolio, a sharp cast impart a raucous, sweet spirit to mistaken identities, cross-gender disguise, and one legendary prank. When the happy ending arrived, we all went "Awww!" —Tony Adler


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