Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tipsy Shakespeare: A Threepenny fundraiser plus Tennessee Shakespeare tackles "Twelfth Night"

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 1:05 PM

"I would give all my fame for a pot of ale” -Henry V: Act 1, Scene 3

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If you love the classics — Shakespeare and beer being prime examples— this is your lucky week. Threepenny Theatre Company (3PT for short) and the Memphis Made Brewing Company are teaming up to host the ambitious independent performance troupe's second annual Shakesbeer fundraiser.

This Saturday, Dec. 13, from 7PM-10 p.m. a mere $15 can buy what is being described as, "a Shakespeare-themed evening full of fun, food, frivolity."  Also, 3 hours worth of pulls from the Memphis Made taps.

In addition to performances by 3PT company members, Gil Worth and Alan Long of OAMAUDIO.COM, will record an Elizabethan-edition of The Game Show Podcast.

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In other booze and Bard related news Tennessee Shakespeare Company opens Twelfth Night this weekend. I can't say this is my favorite comedy in the canon, but with its themes of love and death, and its constant pitting of lechery and vice against prudery and Puritanism,  this playful, gender bending, highly musical farce is very close to the top of my list.


Twelfth Night has everything you could want from an evening of theater. It begins with a shipwreck, and twins— a boy and girl, but nearly identical— separated in Illyria, a place of good fooling and misrule, where Duke Orsino has fallen in love with the very idea of being in love. The plot features a dashing sailors, sassy servants and lots of mistaken identity,

Twelfth Night also introduces us to Olivia, a beautiful, high-born lady who's mourning the death of a brother, and the drunken and the debauched members of her household who conspire to play a terrible prank on Shakespeare's most famous tightass, Malvolio, 

The play is named for the twelfth day of Christmas, when misrule is celebrated with feasting and strong drink just before the celebration of Epiphany. The revelries were once presided over by a "Lord of Misrule," who was typically a common-born person chosen to preside over a wild party. Although Shakespeare's comedy never mirrors this tradition directly, it completely embodies the spirit of madness and misrule. 


Little known fact: This song is actually about Malvolio, servant to the Lady Olivia. 

Twelfth Night is directed by TSC founder and producing artistic director Dan McCleary who was most recently seen onstage at GPAC in the role of Richard III.

While on the topic of Tennessee Shakes, the company has also announced that three-time Tony nominee Rebecca Luker is headlining the company's 6th-annual Valentine's Day fundraiser which will be held at GPAC on, of course, February 14.


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