Each dose of good news of Milll Valley’s emergence from the pandemic, from live music returning to the Throckmorton, the top of Mount Tam and Sweetwater Music Hall to the long-awaited returns of the Hivery, La Ginestra and Movies in the Park, brings a jolt of adrenaline to our community.
The latest jolt is extra special, as The Curtain Theatre, which for more than 20 years has produced free theater in Old Mill Park with an emphasis on Shakespeare, announced that it will return in August and September after having to postpone its 2020 season due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Curtain Theatre officials says they’re “bouncing back after a traumatic gap year to stage one of the Bard’s best-loved comedies. Their 2021 production is Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Performances are set for Saturdays and Sundays, along with Labor Day – August 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, and September 4-5-6 – at the Old Mill Park Amphitheatre behind the Mill Valley Public Library, at 375 Throckmorton Ave. All performances are at 2pm.
Twelfth Night has been performed countless times “because of a timeless blend of romance, humor and music. Its has strong female protagonists – Viola, shipwrecked in the land of Illyria after a storm that she believes killed her twin brother, and Olivia, who is adored by the Count Orsino but herself falls for Viola dressed as a man. Other key figures are the riotous Sir Toby Belch, foppish Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Malvolio, a pompous steward in Olivia’s household who is cleverly gulled by the kitchen crew.”
Under the direction of Curtain veteran Michele Delattre, Illyria is re-imagined as a coastal community in eastern Canada in the late 19th century. Think Nova Scotia–crashing waves, sturdy homes with widow’s walks and country dances to the ring of fiddle tunes.
The set is once again the work of Steve Coleman, whose magical designs exploit the natural beauty of Mill Valley’s unique amphitheater in the redwoods. Don Clark leads a four-piece acoustic band, sharing composing duties with Hal Hughes. Steve Beecroft is dance and fight choreographer. Jo Lusk is costumer, aided by Jody Branham. Peter Bradbury returns as dramaturg.
The shows rely heavily on music and dance, supported by instruments that include fiddle, banjo, concertina, flute and guitar.
Cast: Lindsey Abbott (Fabian); Euan Ashley (Curio/Officer); Steve Beecroft (Sir Andrew Aguecheek); Marc Berman (Antonio); Kim Bromley (Maria); Nelson Brown (Count Orsino); Heather Cherry (Feste); Clara Desmond (Nan); Nic Moore (Sebastian); Isabelle Grimm (Viola); Glenn Havlan (Sir Toby Belch); Emmet Kalish (Valentine/Officer); Tom Reilly (Priest); Faryn Thomure (Olivia); Grey Wolf (Malvolio); Michael Walraven (Captain).