Twelfth Night First Preview

WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/15/13 at 10:49pm
There is going to be a lot of ballyhoo about Mark Rylance's performance in Twelfth Night in the coming weeks and he deserves every word of it. Rylance brought a whimsical physicality to each of his three Broadway roles before tonight, but his Olivia stands in a class of her own. I thought he had stolen a pair of the wheelies left over from The Little Mermaid the way he was gliding around that stage in his marvelous dresses.

Not to take away from the other actors, because there were many great performances tonight, but Rylance is in a class unto himself.

Stephen Fry was my second favorite as Malvolio. His reading of the letter and the subsequent scene where he makes a fool of himself wooing Olivia were hysterical.

Paul Chahidi is also a riot as Maria, and he made her bigger and bigger as the night wore on. I could have had a night just of him, Fry and Rylance.

Toby and Sir Andrew were pretty funny too, though their plot gets a tad drawn out there at the end.

I wasn't a fan of John Paul Connolly's Antonio. It's a small role, and honestly felt like it could have been cut; perhaps it is in abridged productions.

I think part of thrill of this production is getting to see what I assume is a realistic depiction of what the staging was like during Shakespeare's time. I'm not a scholar on the matter by any means, but it felt authentic, and that made it real enough for me.

It's a long night, and I can't deny that you don't feel the time passing in spots, but overall it is one of the strongest offerings thus far in the season and Rylance is absolutely, 100% not to be missed.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/15/13 at 10:57pm
glad i already have my tickets for both productions, come the day after opening these shows are going to be super sold out.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/15/13 at 11:47pm
A little low on the wattage. Truth to tell, it drags.

Stephen Fry and Paul Chahidi were quite good. Mark Rylance, gifted as he is, seems to be acting in a style wholly different from that of everyone else, engaging in exaggerated little bits to liven things up and score laughs. He scores them, but it jars.

The drabness of the set didn't enhance the production in any way, but the music was helpful.

I found the production at Lincoln Center some years back far more magical and entertaining.



Updated On: 10/16/13 at 11:47 PM
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:04am
I sort of get the whole old world feel, but it also makes me less excited to see the show knowing there isn't really any "magic." But I'm still excited to see it.
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:12am
I have tickets to both.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
WiCkEDrOcKS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/04
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:17am
So...broad question, but any idea how this is selling? I was sure I would have seen this and/or RICHARD THE THIRD on TDF by now.

Oh, and Whizzer, how did the onstage seats look to you? I know they're selling those and the box seats as rush. Is there any type of audience interaction with the people onstage? Glad you enjoyed it!
Current Avatar: Tony-winner Idina Menzel, delivering a sucker-punch of an 11:00 number, "Always Starting Over," in IF/THEN.
jwsel
Stand-by
joined:8/2/05
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:19am
Tonight is my last night in New York after a four-day trip with my mom. We had tickets to see Betrayal tonight, but the reviews here were so lukewarm that we bought tickets for Twelfth Night last night and sold our Betrayal tickets to someone on the rush line.

I couldn't be happier that we did.

I'm much more in agreement with Whizzer and disagree with AfterEight. I thought Rylance's portrayal of Olivia was brilliant and not jarring at all. I've seen multiple versions of Twelfth Night, including two RSC productions and the Peter Hall Company version that came to the US a few years ago and thought I was seeing Olivia as she might have been intended all along. Far from being jarring, seeing Olivia be somewhat silly in the way she falls for Cesario makes a lot of sense and puts her character more in tune with the rest of the tone of the comedy than when she is more consistently dour, as she is in so many other productions. Frankly, I found the take on the character revelatory and the performance fantastic as Rylance's managed to make Olivia glide across the stage.

I also thought Fry and Chahidi were standouts, but Samuel Barnett as Viola also is excellent. The acting really is strong across the board. The only note I found jarring was Liam Brennan's Orsino's Scottish's accent. It just seemed out of place amidst the English accents of the other actors. It wasn't an issue of understanding Orsino's; it was just that I didn't understand why Orsino sounded like he was from a totally different place than the other characters from the same region. But that was a relatively minor nit.

The production is long, running three hours, but it is the complete play, which is rare to see and I wouldn't sacrifice any of the production for time. I certainly didn't think it dragged.
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:26am
I'm much more in agreement with Whizzer and disagree with AfterEight.

That makes several dozen of us. At least.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:26am
I'm much more in agreement with Whizzer and disagree with AfterEight.

That makes several dozen of us. At least.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
ClydeBarrow
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/12
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:29am
"sold our Betrayal tickets to someone on the rush line."

Not to threadjack but I had a question. What do you mean the Betrayal rush line? Are you referring to the cancellation line? I didn't think this show was doing a rush.
"Pardon my prior Mcfee slip. I know how to spell her name. I just don't know how to type it." -Talulah
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:33am
I was there tonight, sat on stage and thought the entire experience was magic- from the brilliant recreation of Shakespeare's world-- sitting up close btw you can see the exquisite work done on the costumes and wigs which are all sewn by hand- to the gifted cast (and very grand performance by Mark Rylance- to the wax that fell on my shoulder from the hanging candelabras at intermission.

Not to be missed under any circumstances.
PlayItAgain
Broadway Legend
joined:11/8/11
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:34am
^ obviously they ment cancelation. Betrayal will announce a rush when the sun blows up.
frogs_fan85
Broadway Legend
joined:12/3/05
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:34am
There is some interaction with the people in the stage seating. Mainly just holding props for the actors. It's not the most comfortable place to be honestly. I was in the top tier tonight and my back was not enjoying the frequency of movement to see the actors at times. I'd imagine the lower tier of seating is fine though as you don't have a railing obstruction.

I thoroughly enjoyed the production. Rylance was of course Rylance. The two brightest spots to me though were Samuel Barnett and Paul Chahidi. Just excellent.
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:40am
Definitely sit on the lower on stage tier if possible. Being that close to the actors was priceless and from that location (I was downstage side) I rarely had a problem seeing anyone's face. It's extremely well staged and constantly moving which helps. And make sure to arrive a good 15 minutes early- watching the actors being sewn into the costumes and being painted with makeup on stage was a lot of fun and totally fascinating.

Updated On: 10/16/13 at 12:40 AM
jwsel
Stand-by
joined:8/2/05
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 12:44am
Not to threadjack but I had a question. What do you mean the Betrayal rush line? Are you referring to the cancellation line? I didn't think this show was doing a rush.

---------

Sorry, I didn't realize Betrayal wasn't having a rush. It must have been the line for cancellations.
E.Davis
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/08
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 02:25am
As someone who saw both productions in January on the West End. I did not want to take away from my experience of what I saw over there. That being said, I think I am going to have to see these marvelous productions. I so wish that Roger Lloyd-Pack had transferred with this because his Sir Andrew was so funny. Paul Chahidi's Maria is still one of the greatest comedic performances I have witness, as well as Rylance in his revelatory portrayal of Olivia.
"I think lying to children is really important, it sets them off on the right track" -Sherie Rene Scott-
Smaxie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/26/05
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 06:41am
Fear not - having just the film of the Globe performance to compare, I think Angus Wright's Aguecheek is an improvement, as is Sam Barnett's Viola. I'm with the others here who found this a wonderful and transporting evening. Agree that Rylance is not to be missed, a remarkable star turn, but it's a completely wonderful ensemble, including Liam Brennan's Orsino (who I think is masterful in the bench scene with 'Cesario,' playing about five or six stages of gender confusion), Paul Chahidi's outrageous Maria, Colin Hurley's wine-soaked Sir Toby, Peter Hamilton Dyer's wry Feste and Stephen Fry's gorgeously spoken Malvolio. Clear, lucid direction without unnecessary concepts thrust upon it makes it the most immediate and well-realized Twelfth Night of my experience. Go.
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 07:16am
Wickedrocks, I think this is selling well. Not only was the audience full last night, but I have the feeling that it was closer to sold out than comped out, as is the case with many first previews.

I agree with Smaxie that it was quite refreshing to see Shakespeare without any concept thrown on the text. Sometimes high concept works; sometimes it's the pits. Rarely do you see Shakespeare presented without an ounce of fear that you need to gussy up the proceedings with anything more than what the Bard intended.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 07:40am
Thank you to everyone except for After Eight for these thorough reports!

I'm in the process of making ticket decisions now, and I have a question about the onstage seating.

frogs_fan85 and Michael Bennett -- or anyone else who's not After Eight who might be able to offer an opinion -- can you say any more about the top tier? What I'm getting is that the lower tier is preferable because it's closer to the action and there's an annoying railing to contend with up top. The onstage seating intrigues me, but what I'm turning up on Telecharge are $25 for only the top level and full price for the rest... which is a huge price disparity.

Are the top-level seats so crummy that you'd say it's better to splurge for the full price down below? Does that railing seem like obstructed view? Or are the top-level seats perfectly acceptable?






CHURCH DOOR TOUCAN GAY MARKETING PUPPIES MUSICAL THEATER STAPLES PERIOD CUM OIL
Updated On: 10/16/13 at 07:40 AM
Patash
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/08
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 08:10am
I'm so excited for next Wednesday when I'll see it. These reviews make me want to see it all the more -- especially After Eight's, because now I KNOW I'll love it.

frogs_fan85
Broadway Legend
joined:12/3/05
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 08:45am
I wouldn't define the top tier seating as crummy at all. The railing only becomes an issue if someone was standing very near to your box, so I'd say the obstruction was really only about 20-25% of the stage. It's just an awkward positioning. If you leaned forward, arms on the railing the entire time I doubt you'd really miss anything, but that is not comfortable for stretches at a time. From the top tier though you get a better look at the musicians as they watch the performance. While it's preferable to be in the lower box, I don't think you should pass up the opportunity for the on stage seating if the upper box is the only option.
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 09:05am

No, it's not the only option. It's just the significantly less expensive option, and I didn't know if the low cost reflected, proportionally, the quality of the seating. I can't tell from pictures how high the "D" tier is or if you're looking down at the tops of the actors' heads for the entire performance, so this is good information! Thanks so much!
CHURCH DOOR TOUCAN GAY MARKETING PUPPIES MUSICAL THEATER STAPLES PERIOD CUM OIL
Smaxie
Broadway Legend
joined:9/26/05
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 09:13am
Growl, for these next two weeks, you may be able to pick up a $25 rush ticket for any remaining stage seats on the lower tier. Worth a shot.

http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/25-Special-Rush-Tickets-Go-on-Sale-for-TWELFTH-NIGHT-and-RICHARD-III-Onstage-and-Box-Seats-1015-27-20131011
Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 09:18am
Yes I think the stage seats are now just being sold day of-/ I would definitely consider waiting and try for that/ I'm sure being on stage really enhanced my enjoyment of the entire evening.
themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 09:22am

Thanks, guys, but unfortunately, I don't live in New York

These questions are looking ahead to November.
CHURCH DOOR TOUCAN GAY MARKETING PUPPIES MUSICAL THEATER STAPLES PERIOD CUM OIL
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
Twelfth Night First Preview
Posted: 10/16/13 at 09:54am
A "revelatory" performance.

Indeed. Who would have thought that Shakespeare intended Olivia to be played as an alien from another planet? Any resemblance between this and any other livng (or deceased) human being is strictly coincidental.

How revealing!

Updated On: 10/16/13 at 09:54 AM

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