"Twelfth Night" at the IU Theatre is a delight. It’s Shakespeare’s final comedy and he’s generous with both plot and characters. The serviceable plot is so complex that it takes a long final scene and three marriages to sort out. The characters are a menagerie of stock types.
Let’s look at this veritable theatrical zoo. There’s the sympathetic Allison Moody as the maiden disguised as a man. Nick Arapoglou is the overly lovelorn suitor pursuing the stoney Lilia Vassileva. Both are attracted to Moody though Arapoglou’s character quickly suppresses his feelings. Kevin Anderson is Moody’s twin separated by ship wreck. Black leather clad Jessica Rothert, looking at some angles like a young Antonio Banderes, is Anderson’s supporter. Eric Van Tielen is a puritanical buffoon, but one so upended by the plot that we feel guarded sympathy. The ever inventive Jeff Grafton and the equally comic but more reticent Mathew Buffalo are as comic a pair of roaring buffoons as you’d want. Lindsey Charles is the earthy, clever maid, and the musical Joanne Dubach is the wisest of fools.
Robert Mark Morgan’s scenic design for "Twelfth Night" is a neat piece of work. The floor is a series of faux marble terraces which descend toward the audience allowing the drama to move from formal distance to up close intimacy. This with some drapes and the lighting by Jesse Portillo make for a very active area. Combined with Andrew Hopson’s brief compositions and sound design the effect was so compelling that I thought Monday night’s audience might simply join in one of the fool’s songs.
Henry Woronicz is listed as the IU’s director and direct he does in this attractive production, clearly he’s been able to bring his much experience and expertise to shape the efforts of the young talented cast. But, he also should be listed as the choreographer. Scene after scene in this "Twelfth Night" either formally or informally, simply dances.
"Twelfth Night" continues in the the Ruth N. Halls Theatre of the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center each evening this week through Saturday.
You can an interview with director Henry Woronicz and actor Allison Moody on our Arts Interviews page .