Twelfth Night


West Linn High School Performing Arts Dept.
Set and Lighting Design

TWELFTH NIGHT by William Shakespeare – Music by George & Ira Gershwin – Adapted by Cheryl Cantwell – Winter 2000

Adapted and directed by Cheryl Cantwell, with Choreography by John Szerszen.  Costumes by Cheryl Cantwell.
Cheryl had a great idea to take the comedy of Twelfth Night and infuse the music of the Gershwin Brothers, creating a classy telling of the tale of mistaken identity and misplaced love.  The language was Bill Shakespeare’s, but the added element of the Gershwin music, plus our setting of 1930’s Illyria, made for what felt like a match made in heaven, musically and language-wise.  (Gershwin even wrote a chorus of “Hey nonny-nonny” into “Meadow Serenade.”)
Duke was a powerful man in Illyeria (perhaps through illegal gains), Olivia, his Chanteuse at his club.  Feste is the entertaining MC of the club, and Marie is Olivia’s very French maid.  Malvolio remains her manservant.  With Viola donning top hat and tails, who wouldn’t fall for her?
With a definite nod to the Fred and Ginger movies (plus a wink at Victor/Victoria), John Szerszen’s dance was elegant and graceful, including the Fred and Ginger routine between Olivia and Viola/Cesario in “I Don’t Think I’ll Fall In Love Today.”
Musical arrangements and direction were by Jeff Kauffman, with drums by Jeff Cumpston.

The set was all curved walls and stairs, much to the chagrine of everyone who built on it (and the piano movers who had to get a grand piano on it).  Presenting the audience with a grand portal with a Deco-influenced skyline, the cool, classy tones of blue, black, grey, and a touch of silver made for an elegant evening.