Chicago Theatre Review
Frat Party Meets Shakespeare in “12 Nights”
12 Nights – The Hypocrites
By Eva Morelli
The Hypocrites’ world premiere production of “12 Nights” invites the audience into a rainbow world of astroturf, beach chairs, and strings of patio lights as an energetic cast of four present a tale adapted from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and two other lesser known plays.
Anyone who considers Shakespeare to be doo mundane or slow cannot apply the same criticism to this production. Tien Doman, Christine Stulik, Zeke Sulkes, and Jeff Trainor zip around the tiny playing space, each embracing several characters. While “Twelfth Night” is a comedy that deals with love, gender switching, conspiracy, and loss, “12 Nights” focuses much more on the almost college humor of drunken parties, gender bending, and young displays of love.
Founding Artistic Director and Adaptor Sean Graney cleverly asks the audience to join Duke Orsino as he tries to put together a mixed tape for the sad Countess Olivia. And the production is infused with cute pop love songs with the cast furiously attacking an old boom box with cassette tape after cassette tape. The songs are cleverly chosen, a few select props drawn from a bin, and identities kept straight with key gestures.
All in all, The Hypocrites have successfully brought the joys of plays in the park down into their Wicker Park basement. The show is fun, bright, and energetic, and will keep you smiling for the whole 70 minutes.
Adapted and Directed by Sean Graney
Performances Fri, Sat, Mon 7:30pm, Sat 10pm, Sun 3pm
August 17th – October 6th
1543 W. Division St.
For information on this and other shows please visit www.theatreinchicago.com