Review: Twelfth Night at the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival

Twelfth Night

It’s all fun and games until everyone falls in love with each other.

It’s all fun and games until everyone falls in love with each other.

Photo courtesy of Bruce Clarke

Showtimes: Thu 7:30pm, Sat 7:30pm. Through 7/27; $5-$25; Sacramento City College Main Auditorium 3835 Freeport Boulevard, (916) 558-2228,
Rated 4.0

Proving that Shakespeare is timeless, the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival’s production of Twelfth Night is set in the 1960s with visual images from the ’60s and familiar music. The “set” itself consists of only two pieces—a chair and a bench, which are carried on and off through “Star Trek doors” throughout the play.

Directed by Christine Nicholson, Twelfth Night is that wonderful world of ridiculousness with separated twins, mixed up lovers, cross dressing and lots and lots of chasing and fighting. The monochromatic costumes (by Nicole Sivell) with splashes of color in pocket handkerchiefs make the outlandish costume of the pompous Malvolio (Luther Hanson) stand out all the more.

Heroine Viola (Katelyn Arata) is a shipwreck survivor mourning her brother Sebastian (Chris Scarberry), whom she believes was lost at sea. (For once the actors look enough alike that they really could be twins). She disguises herself as a young man named Cesario and enters the service of Duke Orsino (Liam Worrell-Olson). She is tasked with wooing the reluctant Countess Olivia (Janey Pintar), who instead finds herself attracted to Cesario.

Outstanding characters are Sonny Alforque as Olivia’s uncle Toby Belch, Tim Sapunor as Toby’s friend Andrew Aguecheck and particularly Kevin Johnson as Feste, a jester who, in this production, performs several musical numbers with a small band. He’s a real audience-pleaser.

There’s only one more weekend to catch this fun production.