Thursday, July 05, 2012

My Life at the Theater: Twelfth Night

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival has performed Twelfth Night ten times in its fifty year history. I saw a production in the 1990s there and I also saw it performed at the Attic Theater in Detroit in 1996. It is my favorite Shakespeare play. Oddly the artistic director of the Stratford Festival (Antoni Cimolino) directed both performances and they were magical.


Anonymous said...

But did you ever see the musical adaptation of it called YOUR OWN THING? It ran off-Broadway in 1968-69. We saw it at the end of 1968 with Bonnie Franklin having replaced the original star in the lead role.

Jeff M.

John said...

This was the one of the first Shakespeare productions I ever saw. I was in high school back in the mid 1970s and we went to the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut. It used to be an annual trip for our school -- until this visit. We saw TWELFTH NIGHT with Carole Shelley as Viola and Fred Gwynne (yes, Herman Munster himself) as Toby Belch. I loved it until a rowdy group of city kids from a different school (I think it was one in Yonkers, NY) began talking back rudely to the actors and throwing paper airplanes and other things more solid onto the stage. When the bows came Shelley did a contemptuous mock curtsy in which she gave the finger - on both hands - to the audience. The theater ended the entire program of school matinees after that performance. It was a sad thing for all schools to have to suffer because of one group of morons. I remember being appalled by the behavior and embarrassed for the actors during the final ten minutes which became agonizing and brutal assault by a bunch of hooligans. I couldn't believe they weren't thrown out as a group by the management.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My husband's school used to go up there from PA, John.

Anonymous said...

We went there from Brooklyn. Of course, as previously mentioned we also went to the opening production of Joe Papp's Shakespeare in the (Central) Park 50 years ago this year, George C. Scott in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.

Jeff M.