Musical theatre's Judith Blazer and David Garrison will take featured comic roles in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, playing at the Long Wharf Theatre May 1-June 9. David Warren, recent director of The Dazzle and Hobson's Choice, has recreated the classic comedy in the 1960's Italian cinema styles of Antonioni's "L'Avventura" and Fellini's "La Dolce Vita."
Blazer and Garrison were Broadway co-stars in the Tony Award-winning Titanic. Her other credits include 45 Seconds From Broadway, The Torchbearers and Hello Again. He was nominated for a Tony for A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine. In Twelfth Night, Blazer plays the maid Maria with Garrison as the misguided steward Malvolio.
Twelfth Night begins with a shipwreck as young Viola is stranded in a strange land. She disguises herself as the boy Cesario and works her way into the court of Duke Orsino. The Duke asks his new friend to woo the Lady Olivia for him, but Viola can't - she's fallen in love with Orsino herself. Not that that matters - Olivia is more taken with Cesario than she is with the Duke. Mistaken identities and misunderstandings abound, but in the end, love conquers all.
Kathleen McNenny (A Few Good Men) is Viola with two veterans of the Publice Theatre's recent Othello, Dan Snook and Natacha Roi, as Orsino as Olivia, respectively. Also in the cast are Tom Beckett (Feste), Guy Boyd (Sir Toby Belch), Allyn Burrows (Antonio), Blaise James (Curio), Daniel John Kelly (Priest), Tom Parker (Sebastian), W. Scott Russell (Valentine), Christine Scippa (Serving Woman), Robert Stanton (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Rex Young (Fabian), Michele Massa, Charley McAfee and Jessica Murphy.
Designing Twelfth Night in Mediterranean style are James Youmans (sets), Toni-Leslie James (costumes), Peter Maradudin (lighting) and James Gromada (music and sound). Sean Curran is the choreographer. Tickets are $45-$15. For reservations, call (203) 787-4282. The Long Wharf Theatre is on the web at http://www.longwharf.org.
— By Christine Ehren