I’ll admit, I’m biased from the start. I’d rather watch grass grow than watch a Shakespearian play. Unfortunately, The Cross Timbers Theater Group has solidified my bias with its rendition of “Twelfth Night.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the effort they put forth in this play, however Shakespeare just isn’t too great when it’s not projected in the same high regard as his writings.
For those of you unfamiliar with “Twelfth Night,” the plot goes something like this: A hurricane causes the separation of twin brother and sister, Sebastian (Sam Baker) and Viola (Jessica Eberle), each of whom believes the other has died at sea. Viola disguises herself as a boy and takes on the name of Cesario, and begins to work for Orsino, the duke of Illyria, who she soon develops a crush on. However, Orsino is in love with a young countess named Olivia (Melody Baggech) who rebukes him. So in an attempt to soften Olivia's heart, Orsino begins to send her notes via Cesario, who actually begins to become a love interest for Olivia.
Miscasting may have played a part in “Twelfth Night.” For example, take Orsino, played by Michael West. Now granted, the cast and crew told me several times that he just recently filled the role, and did an amazing job in the beginning with his lines; however, the overall tone of the character was a bit confusing. What was to be a dashing aristocrat was lost in translation and came out sort of … awkward.
What may have ultimately caused my dislike for this particular play was the length of the play. Being planted in a very unforgiving wooden seat for three hours, with one intermission in the middle, can take its toll.
Normally Cross Timbers performs exciting plays that are fun to watch. However skipping this one just may be in your best interest.