Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Great acting, Clever, Great staging

About the show

Tony nominee Maria Aitken ('The 39 Steps') leads alumni of The Acting Company and ensemble members of Delaware's Resident Ensemble Players (REP) in Shakespeare's beloved comedy.

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"If music be the food of love, play on!" When her ship is wrecked, Viola washes ashore in the unfamiliar land of Illyria and embarks on a journey to find her lost brother. Brimming with music, love, and longing, William Shakespeare's enchanting play transports audiences to a world of comedic mayhem, mistaken identity, and unrequited passion, where nothing is as it seems, but anything is possible.



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85
Lighting & Sound America

“Plenty of wild things happen...some of them seemingly motivated by nothing more than authorial fiat, and Aitken sets out to impose logic and order on these frantic, farcical proceedings; to an unexpectedly great extent, she succeeds...This is the rare ‘Twelfth Night’ that errs on the side of sophistication...There is real pleasure to be had in its solid character insights and its clear-eyed view of the mess created by even the most authentic romantic feelings.” Full Review

85
TheaterScene.net

"British director Maria Aitken working with both The Acting Company alums and members of Delaware's Resident Ensemble Players has much to add in her production of the ever-popular 'Twelfth Night.' A specialist in drawing room comedy (Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward, Alan Ayckbourn) and an actress herself, Aitken has placed the emphasis on sophisticated rather than comedy. Though there is still slapstick, there aren't many laughs though the production sparkles." Full Review

80
Theatre is Easy

"Maria Aitken and the Acting Company have pulled something delightfully awkward and unpleasant to the surface in their production, diving into darker themes usually glossed over by wilder, more charismatic takes on the story...Such a nuanced message is only possible because the cast delivers on the Acting Company's promise of excellent text work, playing their parts with subtlety, clarity and smoothness." Full Review

70
Theatermania

“Aitken satisfyingly stages this love triangle, with the principal players delivering good performances. Heflin gives the most memorable turn...playing Olivia with a fascinating mixture of authority and insecurity...It's a fitful synthesis, leading some of the comedy to feel awfully labored...Aitken never lets us forget the violent authoritarian power that undergirds this story...If she could make that comedy actually funny, this production would really be something.” Full Review

68
Front Mezz Junkies

"Plainly directed with a good ear for music but not for symbiotic revelry by Maria Aitken, the production surprisingly doesn’t find its groove on that oddly orchestrated stage...The fun, it seems, is sorely missing throughout, and it and love are awkwardly resurrected for the final scene. It all comes together as clumsy as Viola’s foot work, stumbling around the stage until all is made right." Full Review

60
The New York Times

"Mostly by the numbers but sometimes pushes through the pentameter into something nastier and more surprising...Maria Aitken’s production for the Acting Company — sturdy, reasonably brisk — doesn’t have much of a sense of time or place...If music be the food of love, this 'Twelfth Night' plays the same old tune. But as the play goes on, the music jangles...This production is at its best when it’s at its ugliest. It could have been uglier." Full Review

60
New York Stage Review

"Unfortunately, neither the sexiness nor the whimsy of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy is fully served by this uneven staging...Can feel labored or curiously staid at points—though there are lovely bits, both funny and moving, for those who stick with it. This production is very much anchored by its Viola, played by Stahlmann, a young actress whose resonant voice, coltish beauty, and sturdy presence suggest both innocence and resolve." Full Review

25
New York Stage Review

"Rarely have so many players toiled so strenuously to make a Shakespeare comedy spring to raucous life. Rarely have so many players fallen so wide of the mark. To be fair, it needs be said that the supposedly hilarious Shakespeare characters require especially deft handling to amuse contemporary audiences. But while excusing actors not up to the challenge, though valiantly attempting to get there, may be appropriate, enjoying their deficiency is not possible." Full Review


96
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you want a refreshing take on one of Shakespeare's more popular plays -- with some good physical comedy.

Don't see it if you're tired of Shakespeare, or this particular story.

Also I've seen "Twelfth Night" a lot, and while I feel it is often done, I ... Read more Read less

95
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You want to be delighted at one of Shakespeare's comedies. This is a very well conceived performance.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy fresh interpretations of Shakespeare's work.

91
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” is a play you have read but not seen performed. An exquisite production! Great ensemble! The songs shine.

Don't see it if Not in the mood for Shakespeare’s comedy.

Also The Acting Company shines!! The actors’ play together exquisitely. Too... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful

See it if you love well spoken, well acted Shakespeare. Very strong, very accessible production. Every word and intention was clear. Pretty set too!

Don't see it if you prefer your classics avant garde.

90
Clever, Enchanting, Great acting, Quirky, Hilarious

See it if You love Shakespeare or Twelfth Night or you're wondering why this guy is still relevant after 400 years, or you want to support arts in Bk

Don't see it if You don't like Shakespeare plays and find them hard to follow (although I think this one was easier to follow than a lot).

89
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if you like Shakespeare's funnier play with good actors that are relatable. A new theater with a modern look and the acting felt very fresh.

Don't see it if you don't like romantic comedy by Shakespeare done in a refreshing way. A new theater with a modern look to the seating and staging.

85
Funny, Clever, Refreshing, Entertaining, Good acting

See it if You love Twelfth Night and want to see a different take on it. Lots of funny moments. Good music.

Don't see it if You don't like Shakespeare's comedies.

84
Clever, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if A very interesting staging of a comedy classic. Loved most of the actors.

Don't see it if Tired of Shakespeare comedies!

82
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to see a Twelfth Night that is well staged, very well acted and very funny. The enunciation is superb.

Don't see it if you don't like Shakespeare plays.

Also I usually don't like Twelfth Night because of all the side characters ... Read more Read less

81
Too many twelfth nights this year

See it if fine production to see if you don't want to wait in line for the Central Park production later this summer. Talented cast.

Don't see it if you've seen too many 12th Nights. This one was good, but I preferred Anne Hathaway in Central Park and Sam Barnett in the Rylance on Bway

80
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy spicy, contemporary version of a Shakespearean classic. Comical and wimsy in every way. Appropriately staged in a wonderful theate

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy a Shakespearean play no way no how

78
Uninspired, Consistent, Clear, Handsome, Trim

See it if you want a clear, brisk accounting of Shakespeare’s greatest true comedy.

Don't see it if you’ve see this play often & only need to see a new production if that production is truly inspired.

Also This production of Shakespeare’s deepest comedy opens on a lovely tabl... Read more Read less

78
Thought-provoking, Romantic, Entertaining

See it if you never tire of Twelfth Night; you like when supporting characters have new depth

Don't see it if you want a Twelfth Night that feels as bawdy & festive as it could (there’ve been funnier ones staged not too long ago)

Also Ooooh there are some really interesting choices made here. I don’t thi... Read more Read less

77
Great acting, Slow, Amusing, Smart, Nuanced

See it if You want to see a very intelligent, detail-oriented direction, with an interesting take on some key scenes, and keen eye for clever comedy.

Don't see it if You want a comedy that's fast-paced and uproariously funny. This is funny in a kind of smart, subtle way.

76
Funny, Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy Twelfth Night and want to see an interesting staging of it.

Don't see it if you aren't a fan of Shakespeare and want to have a period version of this show (not quite sure when it actually takes place)

70
Ambitious, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if You want to see a workmanlike presentation of the script.

Don't see it if You want to be transported. This is not an inspired production.

70
Static, Weird musical choices, Some stand-out performances

See it if You appreciate well-trained actors delivering their lines flawlessly, if statically.

Don't see it if You want a lot of energy or a new perspective

Also After seeing (and loving) the CSC Twelfth Night earlier this year, it ... Read more Read less

69
Great writing, Banal, Disappointing, Slow, Entertaining

See it if you are willing to settle of ok Shakespeare. It is not badly done but there is no genius in any of the players.There is mirth and cleverness

Don't see it if your standard for Shakespeare has been ruined by the Globe productions. This is very earthbound but decent enough not to embarass

66
Intelligent, Disappointing, Uneven

See it if Almost all Shakespeare is worth seeing. the ideas are interesting

Don't see it if you require the lesser players to be the equal of the best

Also one or two of the lesser characters have a problem with enunciation an... Read more Read less

65
Funny, Fluffy

See it if You like your Shakespeare comedies, and prefer them fizzy, frothy and light.

Don't see it if You have diabetes, and too much sugar makes you ill. Also, the casting (age) makes this improbable play even more so.

64
Disappointing, Pedestrian, So-so

See it if You just love Shakespeare and your expectations are low.

Don't see it if You've never seen or read Twelfth Night.

Also The actors are competent, but weird pacing, low energy, inconsistent c... Read more Read less

63
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Romantic

See it if you love Shakespeare comedies

Don't see it if youre not a huge fan of classical theatre

62
Confusing, Humorous, Nice music, Passive, Sitting-back

See it if You enjoy 12th nights and want to watch it. Your fave characters are the sir Andrew team.

Don't see it if You have seen a lot of 12th nights. You hate when people do a shakespeare voice. You don’t enjoy shakespeare.

60
Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing

See it if you must have shakespeare regardless

Don't see it if you like Shakespeare and appreciate good acting

60
Great acting, Banal, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You love everything Shakespeare and want to see talented actors perform.

Don't see it if You want interesting staging, while the actors are great, the staging is boring, and there is a lot of standing around.

Also This is one of Shakespeare's comedies and I barely laughed. The space ... Read more Read less


Cast & Creatives (21)