Public Theater Plans Twelfth Night Musical

News   Public Theater Plans Twelfth Night Musical
Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare's comedy of cross dressing and secret love, will sing again in a new musical being planned by New York's Public Theater, according to a report in The New York Times.

The Public Theater was the source of Hair, A Chorus Line, Fun Home and Hamilton, among many other musicals and plays. The Twelfth Night musical will be presented as part of the Public Theater's The Public Works program, which "brings together professional and nonprofessional actors from across New York City’s five boroughs with song-and-dance productions of classic works," according to the Times. No date or staging location for the production was announced.

Music and lyrics will be written by Shaina Taub, a Jonathan Larson Award-winning songwriter who, as a performer, appeared in the Off-Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. She supplied music for the Bill Irwin/David Shiner play Old Hats, which opens Off-Broadway in January. The libretto will consist entirely of Shakespeare's original text. The production will be staged by Kwame Kwei-Armah, artistic director of Baltimore’s Center Stage.

Taub said that the production will be set in a port city during a carnival.

Twelfth Night has been musicalized several times before, with varying degrees of success. Your Own Thing ran 933 performances Off-Broadway, but Broadway's Music Is lasted just a week. All Shook Up (2005) moved the musical to the American South and filled it with Elvis Presley songs. Play On! moved it to Harlem and filled with Duke Ellington music.

Here is a clip of Taub singing her own song, "Make a Mess, from Old Hats:


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