So says the lovesick Count Orsino in the opening moments of Twelfth Night which OPENS TONIGHT JULY 20th!

This production, directed by Lavina Jadwani,  has  the rockin’, goovin’, surfin’ setting of the early 60’s Beach Party classics with Shakespeare’s lyrics set to a Beach Boys beat. Not a word was changed but all those lutes have stepped aside for ukes and guitars and some lively brass.

So…Who Put The Bop In The Bop She Bop? Who Put the Heigh in the Heigh Nonny No?

Shakes hands, electronically, with Joshua Dumas. Joshua Dumas is a Chicago-based artist and composer. He recently scored Vintage Theatre Collective’s Raskol, released an album of piano pieces called Rough Matinals, scored Jerzy Rose’s feature Crimes Against Humanity (currently showing at the Siskel Center), and co-directed and scoredMirrors Are Just Water Specified. He performs with Eiren Caffall, and The Lamplit Maple.

_1600856642When asked if Shakespeare’s lyrics that lend themselves to 60’s music Dumas replied: “They don’t! Or what I should say is that it was really challenging to wed such rich language to the (intentionally) naive progressions of 60s surf pop. That music tends to an emotional simplicity that is bright and playful. Now, great 60s pop is pure joy, but Shakespeare’s language, though truly musical, is dense with emotional complexity. What a wonderful  mash.

Audiences will hear echos of some of the great 60’s musical icons. “The instrumental music in the show leans on the Beach Boys, Dick Dale, and the Ventures.” Dumas explained, ” The vocal music is definitely of the folk tradition, Dylan for sure, as well as Fairport Convention.  In the world of the show, I definitely see Feste (who sings most of the songs) as a Dylanesque character. And Fairport Convention were deeply steeped in the long folk tradition of the British Isles, so  they too are appropriate.”
The instrumental music will be performed onstage by the actors and all the songs are in service to the storytelling. Joked Dumas, “Would Sir Andrew play boozy late night electric guitar solos? Of course he would!” And when asked if at Festival Theatre, there were any  special significance to Feste’s “Heigh ho, the wind and the rain” Dumas was quick to ask if anyone had any golf umbrellas to protect the instruments when the sky’s uncooperative!
The Next Wave of Marvelous Musicians and Mensches
On Friday, July 26 Festival Theatre will bestow its inaugural Young Artist Award at 7 PM. This award is to be given to each year’s Oak Park River Forest High School graduate who generously shares her/his remarkable artistic talent for the betterment of all within her/his community. This year’s recipients are Scott Daniel and Jake Shadrake. Following the award ceremony they will be joined by band-mate Ella Gill in a brief concert before the 8 PM Twelfth Nightperformance.
Festival Theatre fans will know Scott and Jake (and Ella) from their performances inMidwinter’s Tales, our annual December co-benefit with Prevail (formerly Oak Park River Forest Walk In Ministry.) Jake, Scott, and Ella singing together at Fitzgerald’s this past Spring raised north of $25,000 for Prevail.Before these young artists depart for college (Daniel to Williams, Shadrake to Julliard) Festival Theatre will recognize and reward their talents and their generous hearts. Join us Friday, July 26 for an extra special magical night when  one of history’s great comedies is preceded by a salute to the citizen artists of the future.
Tickets for Twelfth Night are available online at, by phone 708.445.4440, or in person at either the Oak Park Visitors Center, 1010 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL during business hours or at the Austin Gardens box office an hour before performance.
SO, don’t forget … ‘SURF’S UP!’