Tag Archives: Twelfth Night

On beyond Twelfth Night: upstaged

"Malvolio and the Countess," 1859. Daniel Maclise (1806-1870), engraved by R. Staines. Wikimedia Commons.

By Bob Hicks

Yes, it’s over. Today is January 6, Epiphany, the day after Twelfth Night, traditional final day of the Christmas season, complete with twelve lords a-leaping and a partridge in a pear tree. Salute them in the rear view mirror, say a fond farewell, and let’s move on.

The diarist Samuel Pepys seemed more than ready to turn his attentions elsewhere on January 6, 1663, when he recorded this among other observations of the day: “So to my brother’s, where Creed and I and my wife dined with Tom, and after dinner to the Duke’s house, and there saw Twelfth Night acted well, though it be but a silly play, and not related at all to the name or day.”

Design by Rachel Ann Lindsay; Typography by Michael Buchino; Art direction by Francesca RestrepoPepys had notoriously little patience for Shakespeare and his fripperies. What might he have thought, then, of Constance Congdon’s adaptation of Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid, with David Margulies as the hypochondriacal Argan? We haven’t seen it (it opens next Friday, January 14, as Portland’s theater Second Season picks up speed) but the whispers blowing in from backstage are that it’s heavy on the flatulence jokes. Ah, the holy trinity of bodily-function comedy: Beavis and Butthead, South Park, Moliere.

Second Season gets off and running Friday night when Artists Repertory Theatre opens Tracy Letts’s Superior Donuts. The cast includes Bill Geisslinger and Linda K. Alper, a couple of top-rank actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, which opens its new season in late February. And the crossovers continue. OSF opens its production of Letts’s biggest hit, August: Osage County, in April. And the festival opens its own version of The Imaginary Invalid — this one adapted by Oded Gross and director Tracy Young, with the excellent David Kelly as Argan — in February.

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Traveling a jumbled, rambly literary road

Oregon Coast near Devil's Churn and Cape Perpetua

By Laura Grimes

We’re traveling, we pack of five breathing each other’s air and bumping inside each other’s heads. We eat the same food. We stop from spot to spot, sightsee, and mere snippets intermingle, weave together something anew and haul us along.

Everywhere we go we pick up words and take them with us. They lift us. They quiet us. We break bread with them. We swirl wine with them. They hang in the air among us.

Our books go from suitcase to table to car to kindle to stereo to suitcase to car to lap to bed.

Each time, bits let loose. Literary crumbs pinch and mold into a new story, unique and unashamed. It becomes our own literary travel journal. Jumbled. Weird. Scattered. And somehow cohered.


The Islands of the Blessed by Nancy FarmerWhen The Large Smelly Boys bicker in the car, I hit play and they magically silence before the almighty audio book. Nancy Farmer, god bless her. Past summers we plowed through her The Sea of Trolls and The Land of the Silver Apples. Just to be safe, we have along her The Islands of the Blessed on iPod, CD and hard copy. Thank heavens, because we’ve used all of them. In less than a week, the hard copy was devoured by two members of the Scatter Family.

Continue reading Traveling a jumbled, rambly literary road

Ashland the first: night the twelfth

Viola in disguise (Brooke Parks) discovers an affection for Orsino (Kenajuan Bentley), as Feste (Michael Elich, center), Curio (Fune Tautala Jr., back left) and Valentine (Jorge Paniagua) look on. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

By Bob Hicks

Ah, the adventures of the road. The brain trust at Art Scatter World Headquarters has packed up and squeezed itself temporarily into the Scattermobile, partaking of adventures large and small. We’ve ingested the oyster and the clam, descended into Devil’s Churn, gazed upon the gathered elk, spied osprey and eagle and hawk, felt the chilling spray of Hellgate Canyon as it soaked the curl from our hair. We’ve dined in the company of Jack London’s ghost at the Wolf Creek Inn. We’ve discovered disturbingly misplaced apostrophes on public signs, dangling hopefully like unacknowledged offspring at the reading of a rich man’s will.

Now we’re in Ashland, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where we’re settling in long enough to take in the nine plays still in repertory, having missed the already departed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Well. It’s a marathon that’s become a tradition of shared argumentation and pleasure. Mr. Scatter, Mrs. Scatter, the Learned Sister and the Large Smelly Boys experience it all, each from his or her own vantage, each with the advantages and handicaps of his or her own delights and prejudices. Late August is high season, and a good time to be doing this: The shows have hit their groove and become pretty much all that they can be.

Continue reading Ashland the first: night the twelfth