When you’re greeted by musicians in fedoras playing gypsy music, you know you’re not going to see a traditional interpretation of “Twelfth Night.” And what you get is a combination telling of the tale, feats of acrobatics and musical interludes.
This Twelfth Night came to New York courtesy of Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre Company. While this production is only running through the 23rd, you should keep Pig Iron on your radar. Billing itself as “dedicated to the creation of new and exuberant performance works,” Pig Iron made this production both dangerous and delightful. Dangerous because the actors use the stage – including a skateboard-type ramp and steps to roll down, run up and make audience members hold their breath. And delightful because the actors thoroughly seem to be enjoying themselves – Sir Toby Belch is channeling every on-the-edge drunk you’ve ever met, Malvolio is giddy and willing to debase himself when he thinks his mistress loves him and Andrew Aguecheek is resplendent in mismatched Bermuda shorts and seersucker jacket, and at one point he rides around on a tricycle. And while the dress was modern, Shakespeare’s verses were delivered with much skill.
The location of this production, the Abrons Art Center, should also be kept on your radar. Part of the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side, The Abrons offers theater, gallery works and classes. Offerings run the gamut from French dance to Yiddish theater. AW
Ticket price — $30 – worth every farthing