UCO Theater stages a highly entertaining version of Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' 

ny a scene.

DASHING TURN
Mitchell, Johnson and Damen are responsible for one of the standout aspects of this production: the composition of several original melodies performed throughout There are strong performances by Yousef Kazemi ,camping it up to great effect as the haughty and rather cruelly abused Malvolio, and Craig Gibson delivering a dashing turn as Viola's lost twin brother.

The production values, while not bad, do little to elevate the play. The largely white set is dynamic enough, structurally, to serve as the backdrop for every scene. Aside from some changes to indicate night and day, and one inspired scene in Malvolio's cell, the lighting design is pretty static, but doesn't detract from the performances, either.

Following a risky trend of taking Shakespeare out of its native Elizabethan England and into new times and places, this version of "Twelfth Night" is set, according to the program, in "the Russia of Nicholas, Alexandra and Anton Chekov "? 1894 to 1917." Unlike some of those adaptations, the change doesn't hurt the play. In fact, it doesn't really seem to affect it at all.

The only thing accomplished by the change in setting, is being freed of traditional costumes and English accents.

While not the most polished of productions, the dynamic performances, raucous spirit and original music make this unique version of "Twelfth Night" a guaranteed fun time for all.

"?Eric Webb

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