Shakespeare Kelowna brings Twelfth Night to life with jazz - InfoNews

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Shakespeare Kelowna brings Twelfth Night to life with jazz

Michael Kalmuk, Mike Minions, and Sharon Estephan are set to dazzle audiences in the upcoming production of Twelfth Night.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Shakespeare Kelowna
July 10, 2019 - 6:00 PM

KELOWNA - Shakespeare might summon up bad memories of struggling through essays on the immortal Bard in high school English class, but Stephen Jefferys wants to remind people how fun the famous playwright's work can be.

Jefferys is the director of Shakespeare Kelowna's production of Twelfth Night, which runs from July 17 to 21 and July 24 to 27 at Spearhead Winery. It's a tweak on the classic comedy of mistaken identity and misunderstandings, transporting the play to the swinging Jazz Era of the 1920s.

Jefferys saw jazz and Twelfth Night as a natural combination. The play is peppered with lyrics, so he decided to lean into the musical element by adding a night club-style jazz quintet to the mix.

Shakespeare Kelowna started planning this production last year after their successful run of A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2018. Rehearsals began roughly 10 weeks ago. From the beginning, Jefferys knew the poetic language of Shakespeare can be difficult for audiences to follow.

"It's easy to get lost in the words," he said. "The challenge is making the language understood."

Jefferys worked with his cast to edit certain lines and trim the play from a potential three-hour runtime to a more manageable two hours. He hopes they've managed to highlight the comedy of the play.

"Shakespeare's comedies are quite hilarious farces," he said. "[Twelfth Night] is no exception."

The play is set outside as the sun sets, which only adds to the ambience.

Jefferys is excited to finally bring the play to the public after months of preparation and planning.

"It's like nurturing a baby in the womb," he said. "It's a magical process."

Tickets for the show are $30 and the start time is 7 p.m at 3950 Spiers Road. Tickets can be bought here or by calling 250-862-2867.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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