Twelfth Night OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Lee Wexler/Images for Immovation
  • Twelfth Night
  • NY TIMES

  • THEATRE IS EASY

Opening Night:
July 10, 2014
Closing:
July 26, 2014

Theater: Municipal Parking Lot / Corner of Ludlow and Broome Streets, New York, NY 10002

Synopsis: 

Illyria becomes the Parking Lot itself in Shakespeare in the Parking Lot's production of Twelfth Night, to be presented by The Drilling Company from July 10 to 26 in the Municipal Parking Lot at the corner of Ludlow and Broome Streets. Hamilton Clancy directs. The production is an homage to the Parking Lot itself, which has been covered by media throughout the world because of its unique setting. The scruffy urban acre, which has been home to Shakespeare in the Parking Lot for two decades, is scheduled to be swallowed up as the long-vacant Seward Park Urban Renewal Area gives way to Essex Crossing, a giant mixed-used development, capping a half century of "progress" since the city laid the groundwork for the megaproject by demolishing the tenement homes of 1,800 Lower East Side families. Twelfth Night, one of the last and most bitter-sweet of Shakespeare's comedies, is a play filled with deeply flawed, richly drawn and memorable characters, replete with mismatched lovers, love unrequited and love finally satisfied. The central plot hinges on the resemblance of Sebastian and his twin sister Viola, who are separated from each other in a shipwreck off the coast of Illyria. Believing her brother to be dead, Viola dresses as a boy and finds employment as Cesario, a page to Orsino, Duke of Illyria. The Duke is an ardent and unrelenting suitor to the Countess Olivia, but she will have nothing to do with him. She falls instead for his reluctant messenger of love, Cesario. When Viola’s brother arrives on the scene, the fun of mistaken identities begins in earnest. The comedy is intensified by the uproarious machinations of several endearing clowns: Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Sir Toby Belch, Feste, Maria and most importantly, Olivia’s proud and officious steward, Malvolio, whose name means "ill will."

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Twelfth Night

    Shakespeare’s Shipwrecked Twins Settle on the Asphalt and Astroturf ‘Twelfth Night,’ From Shakespeare in the Parking Lot

    Alexis Soloski

    July 18, 2014: The Delacorte it ain’t. During performances of Twelfth Night, directed by Hamilton Clancy, garbage trucks and M14 buses override dialogue; sirens and yapping dogs interrupt soliloquies. Sometimes the streetlights, which provide the stage’s only illumination, inexplicably darken. At other times cars and vans, their sound systems booming, swerve perilously close to the crowd. The stage? A square of Astroturf on an asphalt expanse at the corner of Ludlow and Broome Streets, where for nearly 20 years Shakespeare in the Parking Lot has staged its comedies and tragedies. There are no spotlights, no sound, and the costumes look pulled from the thrift-store dollar bin. Most of the acting is more eager than able, though there are happy surprises, like Emmanuel Elpenord’s suave Antonio and Jonathan Eric Foster’s smooth-voiced Feste. Feste is dressed as a deliberately unconvincing drag queen in sequins and a bushy beard. On the other hand, Amanda Dillard’s shipwrecked Viola looks more boyish than most.

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  • THEATRE IS EASY REVIEW OF Twelfth Night

    Twelfth Night Review

    Amanda LaPergola

    July 20, 2014: Not all free Shakespeares in New York are sumptuously designed, star-studded spectacles for which you have to wake up at five in the morning to get tickets. Some -- if not most -- are low-budget passion projects performed by talented unknowns with very reasonable seating policies. Just as New York should have room enough for the cushy one percenters and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so should there be space enough for free outdoor Shakespeare of all kinds. That’s my ideal urban utopia. Through July 26th, The Drilling Company's "Shakespeare in The Parking Lot" will present William Shakespeare’s cross-dressing classic Twelfth Night for the agreeable price of FREE. Founded in 1995 by Expanded Arts, Shakespeare in the Parking Lot has performed at the same municipal parking lot on Ludlow and Broome Street each summer. Now in the stewardship of The Drilling Company, this will be the company’s last year in this particular play space, as the lot and surrounding buildings will be demolished to make room for an “urban renewal project.” Just writing that makes me want to punch something, but I will save my anti-gentrification angst for another time (she wrote in a trendy Astoria coffeeshop).

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