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Loyola at a Glance

"Twelfth Night" opens tonight in Marquette Theatre

April 4, 2008

Colby Lemaster as Sir Toby Belch, Christopher Bohnstengel as Malvolio, Erin Slimak as Maria. Front: Branden Piper as Sir Andew Aguecheek, Luke Garcia as Feste the Clown

Shakespeare's excellent comedy, Twelfth Night, centers on mistaken identity, gender-bending disguises and the madness of love. Set in the Elizabethan era of the Ottoman Empire in Illyria (Albania), with colorful and elegant flair, Loyola's production offers a rare glimpse into the contrasting worlds of this fantastical story.

Viola is shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria. Believing her twin brother, Sebastian, has drowned, she masquerades as Cesario, a young male page for the nobleman Duke Orsino, tangling herself in a messy romantic triangle. Viola falls in love with Orsino, but cannot tell him as he thinks she is a man, while Olivia, the object of Orsino's affection, falls for Viola, believing her guise as a man.

Meanwhile, more miscommunication, jealousy and mischief ensue with a merry group of pranksters living in Olivia's household tricking the servant, Malvolio, into believing his mistress wishes to marry him.

Director Artemis Preeshl incorporates the Renaissance Italian style of commedia dell'arte into Twelfth Night. Loyola University New Orleans' production of Twelfth Night explores commedia dell'arte, including slapstick comedy and wordplay, to heighten Shakespeare's characters and intensify the comic story of Twelfth Night.

Twelfth Night will run in the Marquette Theatre on Loyola's main campus, 6363 St. Charles Avenue, on April 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, at 8 p.m., and April 6, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $8 for students and senior citizens. For group rates, call (504) 865-2074.

For more information, please call the Loyola University New Orleans Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at (504) 865-3840.

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