Bryant Park Presents' Twelfth Night, performed and produced by The Drilling Company Shakespeare, is a whimsical midsummer night dream in midtown Manhattan. Set in the open air of Bryant Park, patrons sit on chairs and blankets and enjoy the show.
Directed by Jane Bradley, with music by Andrew Gombas (who also plays Feste the Clown), this production speaks in all of the original text while donning vibrant modern costumes and wigs, designed by Grace Whittemore. Inspired by other transformative journeys such as those seen in The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, the Drilling Company's production paints a colorful fever dream for the characters. Twins Sebastian (Brandon Reilly) and Viola (Natalie Smith) find themselves in Illyria, a foreign land where anything goes, the louder the better.
All of the cast have impressive training and credits, and all come together to form a strong ensemble (the cast comprises actors Emmanuel Elpenord, Natalie Smith, Brandon Reilly, Kathleen Simmonds, Rachel A. Collins, Lukas Raphael, Jack Sochet, Jarrod Bates, Arif Silverman, Hayley Simmonds, Andrew Gombas). All knew how to bring forth this classic to the crowd, many of whom were students seeing Shakespeare for the first time, while working against ambient traffic noises. They remained clear and engaging, and used the space well.
For more information on Shakespeare in Bryant Park visit: http://bryantpark.org/programs/shakespeare