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'Twelfth Night' could be much ado about nothing


Last updated 11/16/2017 at Noon

Count Orsini (Amara James Aja) pleads with Cesario (Jennifer Paredes) to pursue Maria's love. Jim Cox photo

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to the Village News

Coming Saturday, Nov. 18 to the El Corazon Senior Center in Oceanside is the Old Globes’ free presentation of "Twelfth Night". It is the county-wide tour by none other than The Bard, William Shakespeare.

Presented by a troupe of nine players, as in times of old, they play multiple rolls in what director Jerry Ruiz calls a modern approach. That is where he and I take a departure.

The last time I saw this show was in 2014 at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon Avon. Subsequently it is disappointing to see one of my favorite plays recreated in a way which is not appropriate for a library. I’d rate it a PG17. Or in this case, much ado about nothing.

Even so, my favorite and the brightest star of this production is played by the extremely gifted Jennifer Paredes as Viola/Cesario. Truly, she is a rising star! Coupled by another faithful character played by Christina Okolo as Valentine/Antonio(a). Her roles were true and clean.

Lorenzo Landini played Sebastion/Curio with dignity as did Ajinkya Desai play the misunderstood Malvolio. Both proved to be bright spots in an otherwise slap-sticky-schleppy presentation filled with the basest form of potty-humor which includes farting in the audience’s face, cigarette smoking and tampon flashing on stage. It is hard to overlook the lampooning to find the quality in a few of the performances.

Just the same it is free. Or is it just another case of you get what you pay for?

Playing as dinner and a show at the El Corazon Senior Center at 3302 Senior Center Drive in Oceanside, dinner will be served at 5:15 p.m., and the show begins at 6:30 p.m. From State Route 76, go south on Rancho del Oro Road the entrance is on the right just before Oceanside Blvd. Since the schedule is subject to change one might call the senior center to confirm the date and time, (760) 435-5600.


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