Nov 8, 2023 - Things to Do

New "Twelfth Night" transports Chicago Shakespeare to the tropics

people dancing on stage

Chicago Shakespeare Theater's production of "Twelfth Night," reimagined in the Caribbean by director Tyrone Phillips, in the Courtyard Theater, Oct. 25–Nov. 26, 2023. Photo: Liz Lauren

Chicago Shakespeare Theater's newest production of "Twelfth Night" brings the bard's comedy to the shores of Jamaican American director Tyrone Phillips' homeland.

Why it matters: Phillips breathes fresh life into the 422-year-old play with Caribbean costumes, modern choreography and songs by Bob Marley, Lionel Richie and Otis Redding (whose "Try A Little Tenderness" gets its best theatrical treatment since "Pretty In Pink").

What's happening: Twins Viola and Sebastian get separated after their boat gets caught in a storm, each landing ashore without knowledge the other is alive.

  • There Viola, who dresses as a boy named Curio for protection, falls in love with her boss, Duke Orsino, who loves Countess Olivia, who of course falls for Curio.

Don't miss: Paul Oakley Stovall's hilarious but deeply wronged turn as Malvolio, which follows his touring gig as George Washington in "Hamilton."

  • Or the big theatrics of Christiana Clark as Olivia and the palpable chemistry between Orsino and Viola and Sebastian and Antonio, played as smoldering paramours.

If you go: "Twelfth Night" runs through Nov. 26. Tickets start at $38.

People on stage having fun in bright costumes
Music is the food of love for couples Viola (Jaeda LaVonne) and Orsino (Yao Dogbe) and Olivia (Christiana Clark) and Sebastian (Justen Ross) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's production of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." Photo by Liz Lauren.

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