Geer Ye! Geer Ye!

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Ensconsed within the verdant Topanga Canyon hillside ampitheater of the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum at the beginning of last night’s opening performance of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” I realized I can’t let another six years go between visits to this glorious place. And by the end of the marvelously high-spirited production I further realized I’d just enjoyed the best Shakespeare I’d ever seen. And while I ain’t no pedigree’d dramaturg or anything so pretentious as all that, I’ve certainly seen my fair share of Shakespearian theatricalitations — included a quarter-dozen or so “Twelfths” — over my many theater-going years. Hands down and doubtless this one topped them all.

Under the direction of Ellen Geer who opted to dress the 400-something-year-old comedy in more contemporary Edwardian times and wardrobe while staying faithful to the Bard’s plot and language, the results are fresh and fantastic and the audience was treated to a cast of dedicated and enthusiastic actors supplying laugh-out-loud performances that kept the show’s momemtum at a high level throughout the rowdy and ribald proceedings.

I won’t trouble you with the standout players (they all soar) or bore you with a plot synopsis (that’s what Google’s for), nor will I wax adamant about how you absolutely positively should go (even though you should). But if you’re on the looksee for a unique night out and a marvelous opportunity to have a helluva good time watching a bunch of actors having a helluva good time, pack up a bottle of wine and some grub to enjoy in the gardens before the show and tally ho!

Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
1419 N. Topanga Canyon Boulvevard, Topanga, CA 90290 (map)
Perfs: Saturdays through July 29 & September 4-30; Tix: $15-$25