Pearl's Twelfth Night Washes Ashore Off-Broadway Jan. 20

News   Pearl's Twelfth Night Washes Ashore Off-Broadway Jan. 20 The Pearl Theatre Company staging of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, starring Ali Ahn and Michael Gabriel Goodfriend, begins performances Off-Broadway Jan. 20.

Under the direction of J.R. Sullivan, Twelfth Night will officially open Feb. 2 and play a limited engagement through Feb. 22 at Theatre 80.

The cast features Rachel Botchan (Olivia), Robin Leslie Brown (Maria), Bradford Cover (Sir Toby Belch), Dominic Cuskern (Malvolio), TJ Edwards (Fabian), Sean McNall (Feste), Ali Ahn (Viola), Michael Gabriel Goodfriend (Orsino), Joseph Midyett (Sebastian), Kila Packet (Curio), Jay Stratton (Antonio) and David L. Townsend (Sir Andrew Agucheek).

Shakespeare's tale of mistaken identity begins following a harrowing shipwreck that separates twins Viola and Sebastian. "Washed up on distant shores, Viola mourns for a brother drowned in a shipwreck she herself narrowly escaped," according to press notes. "Viola, however, is no languisher and quickly improvises a plan, disguising herself as the young man 'Cesario,' taking service with Duke Orsino...and shaking the foundations of this strange world."

The Pearl creative team includes scenic designer Harry Feiner, costume designer Liz Covey, lighting designer Stephen Petrilli, fight director Rod Kinter, sound designer and original music composer Amy Altadonna.

For tickets, priced $45-$55, phone (212) 598-9802. The Pearl Theatre Company is located at 80 St. Marks Place (at First Avenue) in the East Village. For more information visit www.pearltheatre.org.

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The Pearl Theatre Company's artistic director Shepard Sobel explains the mission of the troupe as such: "The Pearl produces a classical repertory because the great plays of the last 2,500 years provide a context, a perspective, by which we here in America in 2007 may see ourselves more clearly. We can — and have an obligation to — design the strength and character of the future only by knowing the character of the past."