June 13 2014 12:00 AM

Lamb's Players Theatre sets classic in resort locale

TWELFTH NIGHT IMAGE
Robert Smyth (on floor) leads the hilarity in "Twelfth Night"
Ken Jacques

Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night is a play that I've probably seen at least 12 times. As much as I enjoy its hapless doings, mistaken identities and irresistible pranksters (Sir Toby Belch, Andrew Aguecheek and Feste the clown), the novelty has to wear off at some point, right? So what a happy surprise to discover a delightful contemporary production at Lamb's Players Theatre in Coronado directed by Robert Smyth.

Now, when I say "contemporary," I mean contemporary for Shakespeare. The setting is 1949 in Coronado, complete with a red-roofed Hotel Del backdrop and the piped-in sound of crashing waves and crying seagulls. But this treat of a show is not about mere atmospherics. The eagerly delivered performances are among the funniest I've ever seen at Lamb's: Smyth himself is a precociously drunken Toby Belch, complete with lots of belching; Brian Mackey is excusably all over the place as Aguecheek, mop-top haircut and all; Brian Rickel has the easy-laughs part of the straight-laced, duped Malvolio but does not disappoint; as Feste, Cris O'Bryon not only cracks wise but also plays a baby grand piano, presides over a glass tip jar and croons as if he were the late-night guy in the Hotel Del lobby; Christy Yael-Cox, co-artistic director of Intrepid Shakespeare Company in Encinitas, is whimsical and lovely-acting instead of directing Shakespeare this time-in the role of Olivia, who, in this production, is owner of the seaside resort hotel. There's no other way to say it but that this is a charming Twelfth Night all the way around. 

It runs through July 6.

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28