BAM presents the return of award-winning director (and Cheek by Jowl founder) Declan Donnellan with the Chekhov International Theatre Festival's Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare's most celebrated comedies. Under this sought-after direction of Donnellan, the all-male cast -- drawn from Russia's finest stage, film, and television stars -- weaves the effervescent tale of mistaken identity, separated twins, and gender-crossing disguise. The multi-talented cast performs in Russian with English titles.
From the moment the cast bursts on the stage as a makeshift bossa nova band, it is clear that Donnellan's version of one of Shakespeare's funniest plays is at full comedic throttle. The highly physical production conveys the madness that Shakespeare associates with passionate devotion. Olivia longs for Orsino's attendant Cesario (who is actually a woman named Viola), who in turn is madly in love with Orsino. Further convolutions occur when the lovelorn Olivia falls for Sebastian, twin of Cesario (Viola).