“LavinaJadhwani’s surfer-movie version ofTwelfth Night takes the action of Shakespeare’s 1602 comedy and transposes it to the world of Beach Blanket Bingo. Alas, the past two rain-filled weekends have been more English than southern Californian; four of the last eight performances have been rained out. But a little rain can’t dampen the comic spirits of Jadhwani’s sharp, gifted ensemble. Every comic turn in this complicated tale is executed with grace and verve. Will Clinger (as Malvolio) and Scot West (as Feste) in particular turn in the kind of subtle, intelligent performances that make even Shakespeare’s more forced comic scenes laugh-out-loud funny. Even more impressive, though, is how well this production brings out the deeper tones in the play-both lead females, Viola and Olivia, are dealing with the deaths of beloved siblings-without damaging the comedy.”
“Shakespeare in the park is like champagne in a hot tub. It’s the right product in the right location. This light and breezy staging of Twelfth Night, which takes inspiration from the “beach party” movies of the early 1960s, fits the beloved gender-bending comedy like a body glove. With its ukeleles, motorcycles, and surf bums, this production is summer theatre bliss.”
“LavinaJadhwani’s staging of Twelfth Night … is a light and breezy production that runs just over two hours but feels shorter.”
“This is a Twelfth Night that reminds you that when you’re getting spurned by your lover or separated from your twin brother, the best thing you can do is dance in a very silly fashion. It lives up to Shakespeare’s subtitle “What You Will”.”
Chicago Magazine says OPFT is one of the TOP FIVE Midwest Outdoor Theatre venues.
For a quick getaway – Oak Park Festival Theatre
“Roll out the blanket and booze for theOak Park Festival Theatre, which sets up camp in the town’s bucolic Austin Gardens in June. Though traffic noise can distract from the pastoral suburban setting, this year’s high-concept 1960s-beach-party Twelfth Night(through August 24)-complete with boogie boards and itsy-bitsy bikinis-will surely drown out the din. “It’s set in a more innocent time,” says the artistic director, Jack Hickey, of the popular comedy. “Just before people let it all hang out.”