Music plays an underappreciated role in many Shakespeare plays; too often we get some poor actor with a mandolin strumming out a half-hearted rendition of some sleepy ballad, and the show comes to a stop.
But Allyn Burrows, artistic director of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, sets his “Twelfth Night” in a seaside community in 1959, and then takes full advantage of the musical opportunities. We are on the cusp of the rock ‘n’ roll era, and the show’s soundtrack provides both comic moments and the chance to touch the bittersweet corners of our heart that only music can penetrate.
The three comedians kind of steal the show – Nigel Gore finds all the laughs in Sir Andrew, Gregory Boover’s musical Feste provides the backbeat of the show, and Watertown’s own Steven Barkhimer is excellent as Toby Belch, one of the driving forces of this “Twelfth Night.”
In the end, it’s the kind of thoughtful and taut production of Shakespeare that you expect from Shakespeare & Company.
The Berkshires’ famed summer arts scene is in full bloom now. There’s still time to catch many of the summer’s expected highlights. “Twelfth Night” (running through Aug. 4) is one. Here’s another nine…
Photo: The comic characters (Steven Barkhimer, Nigel Gore and Gregory Boover) kind of steal the show in “Twelfth Night,” running through Aug. 4 at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox. Contributed photo.