Review On Twelfth Night

F. Kathleen Foley

Non-Registered Critics

Shipwrecked twins, gender-bending romance and a bumper crop of fools -- from the wise to the ridiculous -- guarantee a full-blown evening’s entertainment.

That is, of course, given the right take by a savvy interpreter who knows how to reinvigorate a 400-plus-year-old text for contemporary audiences.

As co-founder of Independent Shakespeare Co., David Melville has perfected that ability over the past 15 years and counting. Melville’s staging of “Night” for the Free Shakespeare Festival in Griffith Park is not so much an updating as a delightful defilement. Impudently modern, often just plain silly, the production melds vintage tunes from the Great American Songbook with contemporary language that would likely outrage many Shakespeare purists.