September 4th 2010
By: toto_too514
Picture: toto_too514
Edited by: Marcy

I had quite the adventure getting to the show, but it was SO well worth it! The sold out Saturday evening show was thoroughly enjoyable, it was presented in a beautiful theater – the largest that I’ve seen Randy perform in, and what a performance it was!

I was staying outside DC… but w/in a short walking distance to the Metro and Downtown. However, the powers that be decided that Labor Day weekend was the perfect time to do rail construction, so we were forced to take shuttle buses- which turned a 25 minute trip into a 90 minute one! And then, on our return trip we had signal problems! That meant we had o drive to the theater… can anyone tell me why a major Street had so many red lights???? At this point I was concerned about losing my tickets, so I was forced to park in the lot right by the theater – you know, the one that closes at 11pm? Yeah, so I had to leave the show 15 minutes before it ended!

But it was still SO well worth it! (OK, I know I am repeating myself, but the show deserved it!)

The story in a nutshell: Viola and her twin brother Sebastian are lost at sea, each thinking the other has drowned. Viola arrives ashore w/ Sebastian’s bag and decides to use his clothing to disguise herself and offer her service to the Duke (Orsinio). Dressed as “Cesario” Viola falls for the Duke, who is smitten w/ Lady Olivia. Olivia is in mourning at the death of her brother has refused The Duke’s advances, but upon seeing “Cesario” she becomes smitten w/ him!

Also among the smitten are Andrew, (Played w/ fun and gusto by BTF Alum, Tm Story), who also seeks Olivia’s attention. He has the help of Toby, Olivia’s cousin, as well as Fabian and Maria. Maria is smitten w/ Toby, and Malvolio who is also smitten w/ Olivia.

In a sub plot that I didn’t quite understand, Maria enlists the help of Toby, Fabian, and Andrew to trick Malvolio into believing Olivia DOES have feelings for him. Regardless of whether or not I understood the motivation behind the trickery, the scene in which they pull off their prank is absolutely hysterical!

Now where is Randy you say? Well he is only seen for a brief moment in Act I, as he comes ashore w/ his friend Antonio. Truthfully, the scene is a bit dull compared to hijinks that have been seen so far, but it’s important that we know Sebastian did survive and that he is mourning Viola. He is dressed in black trousers and shoes, white shirt and cobalt blue naval inspired waist coat w/ large brass buttons – the same outfit that Viola wears as “Cesario.”. I must say he looked much better in it!

One of the neat things about this production is the use of falling rose petals to indicate when someone has fallen for someone else…. By the time Act II begins, the stage is completely covered w/ them! Large rose posters decorate the set. Olivia, who was wearing a black mourning gown at the start, now appears in the same dress, except in a beautiful chartreuse color. (She later wears the same gown in peach, sky blue, and finally a white wedding gown.)

Sebastian and Antonio have reappeared, w/ Randy now getting in on the fun, as he decides to explore the city, while Antonio, who has had some trouble on the Island before decides to keep a low profile, but asks Sebastian to keep his money purse.

By this time, Olivia has become desperate in her love for “Cesario,” The Duke has become desperate for Olivia; and Viola has become desperate for the Duke. Andrew has been cajoled into fighting for Olivia’s love and challenges “Cesario” to a sword fight that both of them are afraid to take part in… and it all begins to unravel, when Antonio happens upon the fight and thinking “Cesario” is Sebastian steps into help. Of course, “Cesario” has no clue who he is, and therefore does nothing to stop the authorities from taking him away. Antonio feels betrayed, asking for his money purse to be returned.

Meanwhile, Sebastian is out searching for Antonio, and comes across Andrew, Toby and Fabian… who, expecting the timid “Cesario,” once again set about to challenge him for the love of Olivia. But of course this is the real Sebastian and he does fight back, doling out crushed toes, black eyes and bruises. (Randy got to be a real macho man here, and he looked like he had a great time doing it!)

Olivia appears, and thinking Sebastian is “Cesario,” once again tries to entice him. How surprised she is, when Sebastian, who has no clue as to what is going on, just thinks he has hit the jackpot and promptly falls in love, complete w/ rose petals! They exit the stage in lip-lock w/ hands and clothes flying!

When Sebastian reappears, he is preceded by dancers doing a “tango” type dance amidst the rose petals. He is shoeless and shirtless and his perfectly coiffed hair is mussed as he too dances and prances… not believing his good fortune as having found Olivia. His soliloquy is one of confusion as to who is madder, Olivia or himself! Olivia then appears in her wedding gown, w/ a priest in tow. She commands “Cesario/Sebastian” to go w/ the priest and complete what’s necessary for them to be married. The priest has difficulty pulling them apart as they continue to maul each other!

In the next scene “Cesario” enters, w/ the Duke – who is making a last ditch effort to woo Olivia, who, upon seeing “Cesario,” declares her love for “him.” “Cesario” of course, has no idea what she’s talking about! Also present are Toby, Fabian and Andrew, not looking too well… they accuse “Cesario” of beating them. Antonio speaks to “Cesario” asking why he has forsaken him.

Into this scene Sebastian reappears, blissfully unaware of what’s been going on. He immediately goes to Olivia on bended knee, greets Antonio enthusiastically, and glares ad Andrew, Toby and Fabian. They are all stunned, as “Cesario” is still on stage… they think they are seeing double!

Finally, Sebastian sees “Cesario,” and in a terrific reunion scene goes to embrace his sister… but she, being unsure, pulls back. They try again… only to pull back again! It really is a funny scene and very well done! At long last Viola declares herself no longer “Cesario.” Sebastian and Olivia once again embrace and the Duke, not wanting to be left out shrugs his shoulders, and finally had his rose petals for Viola.

Now, at this point I had to leave… as the parking garage was closing at 11:00. So I did not see the last fifteen minutes. But have no fear folks… I am going back tomorrow!

I did have an encounter w/ Randy after the show. (Once I found another place to park on the street!) He seemed happy to speak for a few minutes. I told him what a wonderful time I had at the show… he commiserated a bit about the state of the Metro system in DC and seemed genuinely upset that I had to miss the vary last part of the show. I mentioned that I had been sightseeing and how beautiful the weather had been during the day. He responded w/ his usual wit, “I wouldn’t know!” He was relaxed and calm and really seemed to be enjoying this production. We parted w/ a “See you tomorrow!”

For those that need to know, he wore short, blue seersucker type shorts, a brown large pattern plaid T-shirt and brown loafer like shoes.

DEFINITELY worth the effort it took getting there!

pyright © 2010 | All rights reserved

Written by Trish - Edited by Marcy

Twelfth night by Trish
Sydney Harman Theater -September 2010