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Twelfth Night, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Ethan McSweeny's productions for the Shakespeare Theatre Company have been marked by a devotion to spectacle (from the sand-covered island of The Tempest to the ramshackle backstage glamor of Midsummer Night's Dream) and sharply focused insights into familiar characters that populate some of Shakespeare's best-known stories.  With the Harman's stage transformed into an airport waiting lounge, with a figurative cascade of travelers and a literal one of suitcases, the penchant for spectacle is certainly still there, and is no bad thing.  It's a beautiful choice for Twelfth Night, a play that depends on strange and unexpected encounters between characters who never should have been brought together- not only the sudden arrival of Viola and Sebastian to Illyria, but even the passing ships of Olivia, Orsino, and poor Sir Andrew, who might well have met in passing but who continue to circle round each other in eternal exasperation until the lucky chaos of the play's …

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