Style Weekly Reviews "Twelfth Night" ...sort of
Here's the picture they chose:
And here's the whole review:
Girls Gonne Wilde
by Amy Biegelsen
Get this: Countess Olivia loves Cesario, who is actually Viola, who has been dressing in drag since getting washed ashore in the shipwreck that separated her from her brother Sebastian. Both siblings are played by the same actress, which leads to some girl-on-girl kissing, which, on opening night, led Delegate Bill Janis (R-Goochland) to avert his gaze and blush back at the actors from the front row. Sounds like a daytime soap setup, but Richmond Shakespeare Theatre’s production of “Twelfth Night” is better for your brain. Because there’s so much ornament and detail laced into Shakespeare’s comedy, the company moves everything out of the way of his words. With minimal props, crafty musical interludes and a bowling-lane-style stage — the audience sits on either side of the action — the cast gets plenty of room to play. The company performs “Twelfth Night” at Second Presbyterian Church at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays (with an additional 2 p.m. show Saturdays) through March 31. Tickets are $13-$24. Call (866) 227-3849 or visit www.richmondshakespeare.com.
That's it. One paragraph, a fairly awful picture, almost no analysis whatsoever, and the only name mentioned is that of an embarrassed Republican.
Once again, I'm in the strange position of complaining about an ostensibly good review. At least I think it's a good review; there really aren't any qualitative judgments in it except that we "move everything out of the way of [the] words," we "[get] plenty of room to play," and that we're "better for your brain" than a daytime soap opera. (Of course, the latter may just be because we're doing Shake-speah.)
I know that Style is going through an editorial upheaval right now, but can't that full page be used to print, I don't know, an actual review of the play? Style used to be the paper of record for the arts in this town, and I just expect better than this.
When all of the complexity and delight of freaking Twelfth Night is reduced to a single moment of girl-on-girl action that scandalized a politician in the front row, I'm pretty much ready to stop reading.