Already closed | 1h 30m | Upper W Side

Twelfth Night (The Public Theater)

From 112 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Delightful, Great singing, Clever, Refreshing

About the show

The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park presents a re-imagining of Public Works’ 2016 musical adaptation of 'Twelfth Night.' More…

Professional artists and two rotating ensembles of community members from all five boroughs will perform together on the Delacorte stage in this enchanting comedy about Viola, a young heroine who washes up on the shores of Illyria, disguises herself as a man, is sent to court a countess, and falls in love with a Duke.

1h 30m | Already closed | The Delacorte Theatre (Upper W Side)

Member Reviews (112)


Entertaining, Delightful, Great singing, Clever, Refreshing
Avg Score

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great writing

See it if you love re-imaginations of Shakespeare, colorful production pieces, and delightful music.

Don't see it if you prefer Shakespeare pieces in traditional form or sitting outside during New York summertime.

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Riveting

See it if You want to be totally entertained, see a unique interpretation of Shakespeare, and want to tap your toes to great music.

Don't see it if You don't want to see Shakespeare or have a good time.

Excruciating, Disappointing, Quirky

See it if you like watching mobs of cheerful amateur actors mill about the stage while the leads try to make sense of poor Will's plot.

Don't see it if you'd like to enjoy q show for its story and craft, not just watch stunts and tricks.


See it if You want to have a lot of fun seeing a beautiful musical with a deep meaning.

Don't see it if You are a purist Shakespeare-language-only person.

Also Get there early for the pre-show.

During previews
Delightful musicalization of gender-bending twelfth night; see it and spend lovely night in central park

See it if joyous & high-spirited; well-crafted Motown/other songs w lyrics that cleverly show gender ambiguity & underscore male privilege

Don't see it if this version played as theatrical carnival misses some of Shake's brilliant language & play's sense of loss/displacement

Also COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION: Pro actors on stage are joined by scores of a... Read more Read less

During previews
A fun evening good music festive

See it if You want not serious Shakespeare with good music

Don't see it if You want serious Shakespeare

During previews
Entertaining, Delightful, Joyful, One of a kind, Innovative

See it if Hummable score, festive & neighborly spirit, excellent Malvolio! Must see if you like innovative & well done mission-oriented theater.

Don't see it if prefer more ambiguous interpretations or lyrics that don’t spell out themes; you strongly feel spear carrier #5 is a role for a pro actor.

Also How it generally works: the principals are pros, but roles referencing... Read more Read less

During previews

See it if Woman goes in drag to get closer to her love and likes the male privilege. Super happy ending. Some songs could easily be radio hits.

Don't see it if Musicals / light comedy aren't your thing. Diverse community members (non professional actors) in the ensemble and sign language annoy you.

Also Free ticket from online lottery on TodayTix.

During previews
Ambitious, Entertaining, Enchanting, Great acting, Great singing

See it if You like the idea of Shakespeare and modern theater commingling. You are intimidated by Shakespeare and want something fun and accessible.

Don't see it if You're a purist.

During previews
Joyful, Delightful, Unconventional, Dizzying, Ambitious

See it if you think you don't like Shakespeare. This might change your mind. It's free & 90 min. No reason not to see it. You'll smile throughout.

Don't see it if you're a Shakespeare purist. But get over it and see this anyway.

Also I saw this as part of Public Works a few years ago and am so glad they... Read more Read less

During previews
Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you can. I mean, tickets are free. It was a good time.

Don't see it if I don't have an answer for this. I guess you shouldn't feel super bad if you don't get there, but again, it's free.

Also The night I saw it it rained. I mean, it poured. They were far enough ... Read more Read less

During previews
Carnivalesque, Colorful, Raucous, Great fun, It's shakespeare!

See it if you love Shakespeare in the Park & Public Work's cast of dozens-all ages, all abilities-musical revival/expansion of Willie's greatest hits

Don't see it if you take your Shakespeare straight with no sugar

Also Get there early for the pre-show activities

During previews
Great music, Great singing

See it if You know the story - or read up on it beforehand. I don't think you'd get the full picture from this production. But you'd have fun anyway.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals. This is a musical. Strictly a musical. A very good musical. But there's barely a word of the original in it.

Also For some reason the actors played to center stage and stage right almo... Read more Read less

During previews
Unfunny, Unfocused, Lethargic

See it if you’d like to support the communities involved in the ensemble (though a monetary donation is probably a better idea).

Don't see it if you’re expecting to see an entertaining, cohesive production.

Also Taub’s music, aside from two songs, unnecessarily dominates the evenin... Read more Read less

During previews
Delightful, Entertaining, Refreshing, Great ensemble, Summer fun

See it if you can enjoy a lighthearted musical version of the play, with imaginative casting, enthusiastic energy from all, and set absolutely nowhere

Don't see it if you don't like updated Shakespeare or musical versions of Shakespeare.

Also The night I went, it rained for the entire performance. Not only did t... Read more Read less

During previews
Entertaining, Great singing, Romantic, Delightful, Relevant

See it if you've wanted an entry point to Shakespeare or just love Shakespeare & seeing new adaptations! It's fun, warm, & perfectly executed!

Don't see it if you're a stickler for the original text. The music brought depth & joy to the production & was likely a big asset in modernizing the story.

During previews
A cast of thousands? as per its "community" style, Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Songwriter-singer shaina taub is a rising star, broadway next??

See it if Blending Shakespeare with original music has been a hit/miss endeavour in years past, but this version is more hit than miss. Bway vets help

Don't see it if IF U like your Shakespeare PURE then this may not be 1 for you. But if U are willing to listen to the Bard's words musicalized then play on!

Also Some sample song excerpts:... Read more Read less

During previews
Entertaining, Great singing, Makes one smile, Delightful

See it if you're looking for a light breezy summer entertainment. Like short shows. Like fun music and lyrics.

Don't see it if Are a Shakespeare purest. This ain't it. Cut and chopped to about 90 minutes and not all that is Mr. Shakespeare.

During previews
Cute, Great singing, Egalitarian, Cheery, Accessible

See it if you delight in the communal aspects of Shakespeare in the Park. (Plus the actors who play Viola, Orsino, and Antonio are all swoon-worthy.)

Don't see it if you're going to get all pissy about hokey-pokey choreography set on an amateur chorus or don't like abridged versions of the verse.

During previews
Entertaining, Funny, Great music

See it if you want to see a short, clear, fun version of Twelfth Night with a very large ensemble - I Love Shaina Taub

Don't see it if a lack of sexuality arc in Orsino makes you sad, or if you're looking for something without music

During previews
Joyful, Entertaining

See it if you want an evening of fun, accessible, musical "Shakespeare" that's easy enough for anyone to enjoy.

Don't see it if you're a Shakespeare purist. High art this is not.

Also What a fun show! This production retains the spirit of the Public Work... Read more Read less

During previews
Enchanting, Entertaining, Refreshing, Delightful

See it if You want to have a great NY Delacorte fun time! A celebration of love and life and art during some very dark days.

Don't see it if You like your Shakespeare traditional. This is so not that.

During previews
Delightful, Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Refreshing

See it if you enjoy Shakespeare or are looking for something classic but refreshing or if you just want to have a nice night out in the park.

Don't see it if you only enjoy Shakespeare in its original form and are opposed to a musical adaptation.

During previews
Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you want to experience a joyous, heart affirming musical; brilliantly written, staged and performed. One for the whole family!

Don't see it if you were hoping for Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The sharp editing basically turns this into story highlights.

During previews
Delightful, Refreshing, Dizzying, Great singing

See it if You want to see a colourful version of this Shakespearian classic that has great music and is family friendly.

Don't see it if you don't like classics that are not traditional and take artistic licence to create theatre that is contemporary and audience friendly.

July 31st, 2018
"A sweet alternative reality...summoned by Kwei-Armah and Eustis, and Taub...What they and their team have conjured is a Platonic ideal of the crazy salad that is New York City in the silly season...Taub and Kwei-Armah have extended the original play’s consideration of the ambiguities of identity...
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August 1st, 2018
“Colorful, free-wheeling musical adaptation...As fast as it is loose: It has been trimmed to a fleet 90 minutes...Not much of Shakespeare's language remains, but the storytelling is lean and clear. In addition to Taub, who has a knockout voice, a few other seasoned performers anchor the cast adep...
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July 31st, 2018
“I found myself spending long portions of the ensuing ninety minutes wondering why, despite my sincere desire to be swept up in the show’s cheerful shenanigans, my heart wasn’t quite in it...The play’s tale...remains intact—and, I should say, perfectly legible—but the heartbeat of its text is dul...
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July 31st, 2018
“Illyria has never been so welcoming...This freewheeling version...proves a consistent delight. Purists may blanch, but everyone else will be thoroughly charmed....Despite the broad humor on display, the adaptation doesn't stint on the piece's emotional power...It's the amateur performers who tru...
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