On the 12th night ... day of Christmas Your true love brings to me, many kinds of pasta, sexual confusion & one golden ring... 4 calling cards, 3 menschy men, lotsa turtle doves & Earnesto calling in on line 3....
Updated to swinging, gay, 1960’s Little Italy, NYC, USA, this 12th NIGHTed is shot out of a Shakespearean confetti cannon of sexual confusion, double sets of twins, & families trying to stick or get back together. Eight saucy characters blanket the pasta business with their own kind of business in an Italian "pair" tree. A farce of epic proportions suggested by the Bard's TWELFTH NIGHT.
Off-Broadway Review: “12th Nighted” and “Fire on BabyLon”
at Fresh Fruit Festival 2016 at the Wild ProjectJuly 18, 2016 | Off-Broadway | Tags: Fresh Fruit Festival, The Wild Project
Off-Broadway Review: “12th Nighted” and “Fire on Babylon” at Fresh Fruit Festival 2016 at the Wild Project (Through Sunday July 24, 2016)
Reviewed by David Roberts and Joseph Verlezza
Theatre Reviews Limited
Hands down, Patrick Thomas McCarthy has written a slam-dunk retelling of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” aptly entitled “12th Nighted” which enjoyed its final performance at Fresh Fruit Festival 2016 on Sunday July 17, 2016 at the Wild Project. There are familiar characters: Cesario and Viola (Alexandra Bonesho); Olivia (Anne Pasquale); Maria (Alyssa Abraham); Mel Volio (Keith Herron); and Toby (David Palmer Brown). And there are reimagined and additional characters to the Shakespearean roster. Four couples – rather than two – find wedded bliss: one of the couples is Olivia’s adopted gay son Francesco D'Assisi (Lorenzo Lucchetti) and Antonio Argento (Keith Herron) creator of rather risqué Holy Pictures using Vito Vittorio Vitale (Jonathan E. Barker) – aka Viola’s twin orphaned brother Sebastian – as his near naked model.
Although the shenanigans are mostly reminiscent of Shakespeare’s 1600 celebration of the end of the long Christmas season, playwright McCarthy has supercharged the iconic “mature comedy” with a delightful LGBTQ flair set in “gay, swinging, 1960s Little Italy in New York City.” The members of the ensemble cast (which includes Blaine Mizer who stands in for Malvolio) uniformly deliver well-developed outrageous characters whose unique and believable conflicts drive “12th Nighted’s” madcap post-Shakespearean plot.
Director Patrick Aran keeps the antics moving along; however, there is room for a quicker pace at times to keep the farce from bogging down. And there are some scenes which could easily be cut by a few minutes each. This would tighten the play a bit and make it even more engaging and entertaining.
As it stands, Mr. McCarthy’s retelling is a splendid way to celebrate – as Maria states – the need for all of us to do what we need to do “to get along” – as you will as it were. There is a myriad of references to the canon of the American musical theatre, including nods at “Hello, Dolly” and “Carousel” and others even the characters find a bit shocking.
Production and sound design by Katherine Hammond. Lights, set, and props design by Patrick Aran. Costume coordination by Susan Cook. Stage management by Joannis Bakageorgos.
12th NIGHTed as part of Overview of the Fresh Fruit Festival @ playstosee.com
"Other shows are much lighter, such as 12th NIGHTed – the wild adaptation of Shakespeare’sTwelfth Night set in 1960s Little Italy. Sexualities run amuck, crossing paths and genders until wrapping up nicely with four neat couples and a Twelfth Day of Christmas bow on top. Intolerance in this play is represented only in the gentlest of jests: “We can’t get married for HOW many years?” a gay couple demands, when the bad news is broken to them by a deceased patriarch who apparently achieved omnipotence in the afterlife. Protagonist Viola, struggling to cling to her invented identity as Cesario, relies on homophobic culture to maintain a professional barrier between her business and her pleasure. Her problem is that there is an odd sexual tension growing between her and her boss, Orson, who has no idea she’s a woman. “Two MEN can’t do that,” the two business partners keep telling each other nervously as the heat between them rises. But by the end of the play, everyone has brushed off their prejudices without a care, and together they rejoice at the idea of all living happily under one roof. Love is love." Austin Fimmano playsTOsee.com
12th NIGHTed (C) 2014 by Patrick Thomas McCarthy ptmc
Olivia Ruttate Earnrighto [widowed entrepreneur]
Maria D'Assolvere [Italian maid]
Viola/Cesario Vitale [orphaned twin to Vito]
Orson/Antonio Argento [orphaned twin businessmen]
Frankie D'Assisi [Olivia's personal assistant]
Toby Ruttate [Olivia's blacksheep brother]
Vito Vittorio Sebastian Vitale [orphaned twin to Viola]
Mel Volio [house steward, handler of correspondence]
Running time 123 minutes + 10 minute intermission