Unreasonably Excited

The title of this post refers to the general state the office staff of Cal Shakes was left in after this Tuesday’s Twelfth Night Meet & Greet. The podcast of director Mark Rucker’s presentation will be posted within hours (click here and look under the “Multimedia” tab; or just check back to this blog), with his idea of Orsino and Olivia as jaded, hedonistic gentry, tales of finding inspiration from our outdoor amphitheater–Rucker’s last production of Twelfth Night, 12 years ago, was set in a tropical paradise, bikinis and all–and his reasons for auditioning actors of both genders for each and every role.

What’s not on the podcast is Rucker and costume designer Clint Ramos’ design presentations: the references to Andy Warhol’s Factory and San Francisco’s Cockettes and Trocadero Transfer; nightclubs after their heyday’s done or even just after the night is over, lit by flouresecence and regret; the freaks lingering around the edges of a privileged party scene; mirror balls on the floor; and the element of performance that runs throughout the characters and scenarios, whether they’re dressed up as other genders, other classes, or just falsifying emotion.

And Clint’s Studio 54-inspired costume sketches are what really put us all over the top–Olivia as Bianca Jagger (second picture, at left), a joyous Toby Belch in pyjamas, a la the artist Julian Schnabel …

Orsino as a tuxedoed Halston…

Malvolio as malevolent disco Goth with an Elvis pompadour…

… and Viola as Carrie-meets-Debbie Harry-meets Gwen Stefani (and, in her Cesario drag, as Marlene Dietrich-meets-Grace Jones).

This is sure to be one pretty, pretty show. Stay tuned.

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