ceebeegee: (Mercutio)
Had a wonderful night last night. I was exhausted through the day--I got home late from auditions Wednesday night because I went over to Ashley's apartment to chat afterward and even though I caught the last bus back into the city, I still waited quite a long time for a train going into Queens. So I was dragging yesterday and dozed off on the train home (heavily laden with Trader Joe's groceries). I watched the VP debate, frankly hoping for a delicious trainwreck of some kind, but no such luck--and I couldn't even grab a catnap during it. Le sigh. Anyway I had plans to join some R&J peeps at the Rover so after the debate I headed on over.

Griffin and Mim were there, and eventually Jason and Charlie joined us. The cast had put together a scrapbook for me, full of pictures from the show, with captions and selections from the program and the text of the play. I was incredibly touched. One page has a bunch of pictures of Adam from the last cast party on the rooftop--several people had asked him to say the line (up on the roof) "Then I defy you stars!" and then snapped pictures as he was doing so. The pictures are HILARIOUS. You can see his tonsils in one of them. Some other cute pictures from that party (all of us doing our red and green "apothecary's poison" shots, Lauren and I hugging each other, etc.). And a whole page with the caption "we few, we happy few" with pictures of groups of us from different times we've all hung out. I love that quotation.

We talked a lot about the show--Charlie was asking about everyone's favorite/most memorable moment doing the show. I said III,i was my favorite scene--it just went all over the place starting with the talking a lot (hey, did y'all know that Mercutio talks a lot? No, really!), then with that awesome face off with Tybalt, then a kickass fight, then I get one of the best death scenes EVUH. I said once I got that death sequence under my feet--once I knew where I was going with it--I loved doing it, although it was still incredibly difficult, like giving birth every performance, it just went THROUGH me and took me with it.

I was talking about how much I loved the fight, and Mim was agreeing (i.e., that she loved the fights as well). I said another moment I loved was Tybalt pointing the rapier at Benvolio, all badass "what! drawn and talk of peace! I hate the word..." We were all agreeing how great the opening scene was in general and Griffin (I think it was he) said he'd hire Nicholas "in a heartbeat" based on that fight alone.

Griffin said his favorite thing about the show was the sense of community within the cast, which made me very happy. Yes! Mission accomplished. I have two main goals for every Holla Holla show--to put on the best show possible (best-acted and -directed, that is) and for everyone to have a good time, to discover (or rediscover) the joy of creation. I am so, so glad this cast was happy.

Addendum: They bought me a lot of lemon drops as well. After the first one I had to run out and get some chips, so I wasn't drinking on an empty stomach. I ended up having four. Mmm, yummy lemon drops. However I'm pret-ty tired this morning--not so much from the lemon drops but because I ended up getting to bed at 3:30.
ceebeegee: (Default)
Check us out on Michael Dale's Showtime blog on BroadwayWorld.com! And don't Tybalt and Mercutio just EXUDE badassness!



I was chatting a bit with Clara Barton Green, Artistic Director and Producer of the Holla Holla Theatre Company (whose production of Romeo and Juliet ends its early autumn run this weekend with 3pm and 7pm performances both Saturday and Sunday) about some of the special challenges of outdoor theatre in public spaces. Aside from common headaches like arriving at the playing space to find people sleeping on the set, nearby children loudly at play and romantic couples getting overly demonstrative with their public displays of affection, she had a few other doozies to share; like the time in Central Park when another group had a permit to throw a loud roller disco party an audible distance from their A Midsummer Night's Dream.

"Sometimes the problem is people who don't quite get the concept," says Green. "We've had joggers and bicyclists march grimly across the playing space, oblivious to the man in the jester outfit quoting verse to them, and children who wanted to play with us. We've even had the Park Enforcement Patrol drive right in up in the middle of the stage and ask to see our permit while a scene was playing!" (The actors kept going while others not in the scene scrambled to show them the paper work.)
ceebeegee: (Mercutio)
One Weekend Left! 4 More Performances!



This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet...



Holla Holla Productions

presents


Romeo and Juliet


Directed by Jason Specland
Stage Management by Stefania Schramm
Fight Choreography by Nicholas Santasier


Clinton Cove Park is transformed into fair Verona, where "two houses, both alike in dignity" clash violently as two star-cross'd lovers begin their fateful journey. Shakespeare's timeless tale of the sweet passion of first love, pitted against a deadly family rivalry, comes alive beneath the moon along the shores of the beautiful Hudson River.


September 6 & 7, 13 & 14, 20 & 21 (Saturdays & Sundays)
Shows at 3:00pm and 7:00pm.

Clinton Cove Park is located at West 55th Street and the Hudson River.

All performances FREE and open to the public. Seating is unreserved--blankets, chairs, picnics and sunscreen are encouraged!


Starring:

Charles Baker, Chris Cariker, Michael Clay, Griffin DuBois, Letty Ferrer*, Mim Granahan*, Clara Barton Green, Melisssa Koval, Kevin Lind*, Natalie Martin, Jodie Pfau, Molly Beth Seremet, Ryan Serhant*, Stefania Schramm, Adam Shorsten*, Lauren Ashley Smith, J.T. Michael Taylor*, Melynee Saunders Warren*

*indicates member of Actors' Equity
An Equity Approved Showcase



Romeo and Juliet is presented with the assistance of the Friends of the Hudson River Park, a World Class Park for Everyone. Visit them at www.forhrp.org, or call 212-757-0981.




ceebeegee: (Mercutio)
The two performances of Romeo and Juliet today are cancelled. Shows will resume tomorrow as scheduled.
ceebeegee: (Mercutio)
Romeo and Juliet is sliding into place, like a massive cruise ship docking :) We are starting full runthroughs today and are still putting together costume pieces. The show's look is pretty simple--black and white (men are black, women are white), and red and green (Capulets are red, Montagues, green). I wanted to emphasize how strict the boundaries are in this piece, and also help the audience tell who was whom, especially with so many women playing men. This has been enormously stressful to produce, for some reason--I have literally been jerking awake in the middle of night stressing about shit, and suffering some weird kind of attacks where I can't breathe or start choking suddenly. Very strange and upsetting. But it's coming together--and as importantly, my performance is coming together. I'm starting to feel a lot more in command--I've been running my lines so obsessively that I can play with them now, explore them, think around them. I'm no longer daunted by the Queen Mab speech--I don't have it nailed yet but I feel confident about it. The one thing left that's still a little daunting is the death speech--I don't think I've ever died yet on stage. But I LOVE my two scene partners, my Benvolio and Romeo--they are an absolute blast to do the show with. Very giving, accomodating--they go along for the ride. And they tease me non-stop, so I frequently have to threaten them with ass-kickings. It's all good.

I love all the members of the cast--I interact with very few of them on stage but I had a cast party for them the other night which was tons of fun. Jodie (Juliet) and I had a long talk in my room where she was raving about the show and the experience and what a great time she was having. She's actually much more mature than I realized for someone so young--she is as unabashedly feminist as I am. Woo hoo! She loves the Holla Holla cheer (Holla Holla Productions is named for the Sweet Briar cheer, called the holla holla--"here's to ya, Sweet Briar, holla holla holla, nothin' that you cannot do-o-o! Here's to ya, Sweet Briar, holla holla holla, nothin' that you cannot do-o-o! Workin' for the good and workin' for the right! Always doin' somethin' and doin' it right, so here's to ya, Sweet Briar, holla holla holla, nothin' that you cannot do-o-o!" Don't ask me why it's called a holla holla, not a holla holla holla :)

Charlie (our Friar John and Lord Montague) said the COOLEST thing to me at the party. He pointed to me and said "I've figured you out. I've decided you are a doer." I beamed and said "YES! Yes, I am. Do or do not--there is no try." I just know I'm going to be glowing about that for awhile. That is high praise indeed, at least to me. Don't sit around (I mean, in lieu of action). Don't complain. Don't be negative. DO. My favorite line from The Untouchables--"What are you prepared to do?" I am a Sagittarius to a fault! (The funny thing is, I was wearing a Sagittarius-themed tee-shirt at rehearsal Saturday.) It's true though--it's the guy in me. DO DO DO. Make it happen. Make your own reality.

Man, I REALLY am such a Sag! It's such a great sign, though. The Archer, a fire sign, we're athletic, impulsive, very forward thrusting. I've always felt it was a masculine sign, in some ways.
ceebeegee: (Mercutio)
This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet...



Holla Holla Productions

presents


Romeo and Juliet


Directed by Jason Specland
Stage Management by Stefania Schramm
Fight Choreography by Nicholas Santasier


Clinton Cove Park is transformed into fair Verona, where "two houses, both alike in dignity" clash violently as two star-cross'd lovers begin their fateful journey. Shakespeare's timeless tale of the sweet passion of first love, pitted against a deadly family rivalry, comes alive beneath the moon along the shores of the beautiful Hudson River.


September 6 & 7, 13 & 14, 20 & 21 (Saturdays & Sundays)
Shows at 3:00pm and 7:00pm.

Clinton Cove Park is located at West 55th Street and the Hudson River.

All performances FREE and open to the public. Seating is unreserved--blankets, chairs, picnics and sunscreen are encouraged!


Starring:

Charles Baker, Chris Cariker, Michael Clay, Griffin DuBois, Letty Ferrer*, Mim Granahan*, Clara Barton Green, Melisssa Koval, Kevin Lind*, Natalie Martin, Jodie Pfau, Molly Beth Seremet, Ryan Serhant*, Stefania Schramm, Adam Shorsten*, Lauren Ashley Smith, J.T. Michael Taylor*, Melynee Saunders Warren*

*indicates member of Actors' Equity
An Equity Approved Showcase



Romeo and Juliet is presented with the assistance of the Friends of the Hudson River Park, a World Class Park for Everyone. Visit them at www.forhrp.org, or call 212-757-0981.




ceebeegee: (Beyond Poetry)
We had some terrific talent come out Monday evening--I'm glad Jason talked me into booking another day of auditions. One guy I especially loved--he did Angelo from Measure for Measure and was SO CREEPY. In the moment, specific, real and genuinely villainous. Jason and I literally reared back at the end--I pointed out to Jason (looking down at his resume) that he'd done Jesus in Godspell and "the audience must've run out screaming at intermission!" What a talent! If we cast him as Lord Capulet it'll give a whole new layer as to why Juliet wants to get out of the house so quickly.

Some other amazing talent--we have so many wonderful actors for our callbacks. So, so happy--a plethora of luminous Juliets, at least three off the top of my head that I'd love to cast. Also some great fiesty Tybalts with whom I can't wait to read. Saturday's gonna be long but fun. I've booked six hours at Ripley-Grier, with no lunch break. I've decided to stock up on burgers and cupcakes at, well, burgers and cupcakes. I've been gorging on their peanut-butter-and-chocolate cupcakes this week. Mmmm, peanut butter and chocolate...

Then next week I start rehearsals for Prince Trevor (so many Thyme alums! Yay!) and soon we start rehearsals for the Sam French Maurice Martin play I'm directing. This summer I'm directing, producing, acting (twice) and adapting (the Christmas Carol script). No rest for the weary!
ceebeegee: (Beyond Poetry)
So Holla Holla is doing Romeo and Juliet this summer and I'm excited.

I've wanted to do this show for a long time--I've loved it ever since I watched it back in middle school. Holla Holla's first tragedy! I remember reading it in high school, and my 10th grade pre-IB English class went on a field trip to a local DC arthouse to watch the Zeffirelli version. When Romeo drank the poison, someone yelled out "Liquid Tylenol!" We read the play out loud in class, giggling adolescently over the "draw thy sword--thy naked weapon is out" exchanges. I've always loved the first exchange between the lovers at the party and I programmed my very first cell phone (the one I had in Spain when I was on my cruise ship contract) to greet me, when turned on, with the phrase "You kiss by the book." *Sigh.* So romantic.

We're going up later this year--the first three weekends in September. This will help with the heat, and also the Clinton Cove Festival is on one of the weekends, which will bring us a HUGE crowd. The Festival is lots of fun, they have music (before and after our show, but not during) and free food and kayak rides and everything. I can't wait to finish the show and then go and pig out on free food! My favorite shows last year were the 5:00 performances--playing Viola as the light starts to mellow, as the evening starts to spread out against the sky...And I love the idea of performing Shakespeare under the stars. We're doing it at the same park as Twelfth Night, but not in the exact same location--it'll be on the grass, INSIDE the roadway (for those who remember the Gestapo PEP rent-a-cops), on the boulders at the south end of the park.



You can sort of see the stage left end of the space in this photo.

I have the beginnings of a staff lined up--Jason is directing, Nicholas is the fight choreographer and a girl named Stefania Schramm is stage-managing. I will also be hiring a sound designer and possibly a lighting person and costumer. We'll definitely have lights, but I may be able to do it myself. We don't need any kind of artistic design, we just need to make sure we have plenty of it, for the night shows. I've had several meetings with FOHRP--they're actually ponying up a chunk of change for the lights and sound. Woo hoo! They've been communicating with the Board about how awful the PEP officers were last year and were very clear about how that couldn't happen again this year. (Since we're off the roadway, it shouldn't anyway but just to be safe, I'm having the permit tattooed on my back.)

Nicholas and I had a meeting and we discussed the fights. He has some great ideas so far--I want the fights to be great and VIOLENT. My concept of the show is to juxtapose the lyricism of the romance against the senseless brutality of the feud. And since I'm playing Mercutio, I have a vested interest in how good the fights look! Nicholas and I have started training, 'cause I want to look really kickass. We met last weekend at the space and worked on parrying and thrusting positions, and where to place your feet.

Jason and I have been dealing with the auditions--the casting notice went live a few days ago and he's been deluged with skinny young women who all want to play Juliet. We're having the auditions next week, and have booked more time than we usually do, a day and a half. Oy. Il faut souffrir pour ars gratia.
ceebeegee: (Default)
Just added another song to my Imeem profile:



Aw yeah. Smackin' down those Mozart riffs...

In other news, my SM for Romeo and Juliet is coming over this afternoon--finally get to meet her! She sounds very enthusiastic.
ceebeegee: (Viola in the water)
I regret that Seth and I will be unable to attend your show. We have heard from Tesse that it is amazing and are truly upset that we will miss out. [snip] Please extend our regrets to the rest of the cast. This is our loss as we have really enjoyed Holla Holla productions in the past.

Oh, also Ben will be there early before the show, but he probably can't stay. He says he will be at the final show, though. :)
ceebeegee: (Viola in the water)
Hi. I just wanted to say that I'm really sorry that I didn't stay until the end of the show on Saturday...I hope you aren't too upset with me, and for what it's worth, I thought a lot of the performers were really good, including the actors who played Malvolio and Feste, the actress who played Maria, Duncan, and yourself.

Just passin' it on...
ceebeegee: (Puck)
This weekend, Duncan suggested that Holla Holla should do The Merchant of Venice: he reminded me that Portia is a britches role. It's been forever since I've read it (college) and I've never seen it. It's a problem comedy for sure, and Shylock is such a dominant figure. I don't know the play well enough to know off the top of my head if any of the male roles can be converted to women's roles. But Portia is tempting.
ceebeegee: (Viola in the water)
I very luckily happened to wake up this morning just in time to jump in the shower--I was so tired last night I forgot to set the alarm! Ahh, lovely sleep...

This is the man; do thy office )

I saw thee late at the Duke Orsino's )

play the tune the while )

I was worried about the cops on Sunday--since I haven't been able to get in touch with Laura, my FOHRP liaison--but no one showed up, except during the first show and Ilana dealt with them very well.

I warrant thou art a merry fellow and carest for nothing )

Him will I tear out of that cruel eye, Where he sits crowned in his master's spite )

Our dear souls... )

Oxford also talks about how the reunion of the twins is the emotional climax of the show, and I've been playing with that, and adjusting the joy and wonder of that moment. So much fun! I love the minutae of acting.

*Looking up Peter's imdb page, I JUST NOW realized he was in Cop Rock. HOW did I miss that???? I must get that episode from him!!
ceebeegee: (Viola in the water)
This weekend was very INTERESTING. As in the Chinese curse. Saturday dawned hot and humid--Ben showed up at my place and we lugged the screen and all the other stuff down to the Park. (One fantastic thing about this experience is that we can store stuff between show days at the Downtown Boathouse. Yay, no lugging stuff back and forth on the subway!) I was occupied with many producer-ial tasks, such as delegating tasks to the two volunteers, sending out for ice and water, setting up the backstage, setting up the stage right quick change section, et cetera. Laura, my FOHRP liaison, stopped by and we talked about the volunteers, and other stuff. She couldn't stay long, unfortunately. The show went up--we didn't have a huge audience, no doubt because of the heat. One volunteer, Selvena, was terrific in redirecting the foot traffic; she was very hands on and even kicked out three obnoxious little boys who were arguing with Duncan. (She threatened to call the cops on them--love it!)

A Foolish Thing Was But a Toy... )
ceebeegee: (Viola pity)
Holla Holla Productions

presents


Twelfth Night

Directed by Ben Beckley
Featuring the music of Mickey Zetts

Shakespeare's gender-bending, heart-breaking comedy about love, mourning, celebration and rebirth is performed at Clinton Cove Park along the shores of the beautiful Hudson River.

August 4 & 5, 11 & 12, 18 & 19 (Saturdays & Sundays)
Shows at 1:00pm and 5:00pm--weather permitting.

Clinton Cove Park is located at West 55th Street and the Hudson River.

All performances free and open to the public. Seating is unreserved--blankets, chairs, picnics and sunscreen are encouraged!

Starring:

Tom Cleary*, Chris Combs, Steven Dawson*, Letty Ferrer*, Clara Barton Green, Myles Jordan, Paul Martin Kovic*, Duncan Pflaster, Elizabeth Ruelas, Kenneth Ruth, Nicholas Santasier, Jason Specland*, Katrina Stodd, Michael Vaccaro*, Tracy Walsch

*indicates member of Actors Equity
An Equity Approved Showcase


Twelfth Night is presented with the assistance of the Friends of the Hudson River Park.




ceebeegee: (Puck)
I'm reading an interesting thread on ATC about Peter Pan--some production has cast an adult male which sparked a discussion. I love that story, always have. It's so dark, and mysterious--fascinating. "To die will be an awfully big adventure"--what kind of child says something like that? Someone messed up, that's who. "We can't both have her, ma'am."

I've always wanted to play Peter. Maybe I could produce that next. I'd prefer to do the musical, because I love that score, but I'd like to make some cuts--"Mysterious Lady" and maybe we could do something to the reprise of "I Gotta Crow" which is too cutesy by half. And I wouldn't mind adding stuff from the original play. I'd want it to be DARK--none of this Mary Martin prancing about, but a real portrayal of a psychologically stunted person. I've seen a little bit of Cathy Rigby's performance and she was actually pretty good, from what I saw--believably boyish.

I wonder if I could do that play outdoors? The main problem (well, besides not being able to fly) would be that you'd lose the warm domesticity of the Darling nursery--but then you'd gain a terrific setting for Never Never Land.
ceebeegee: (Viola in the water)
Holla Holla is on MySpace now!

The one flaw is that I can't seem to edit the calendar to show the days of the Twelfth Night run...I added the August 4th shows but everytime I add shows for the other days, they never show up. Grr!
ceebeegee: (Beyond Poetry)
We had our first readthrough for Twelfth Night last night, down at HB Studios in the Village. I'm very excited we'll be rehearsing (some) down there--I don't get into the Village that often and it's one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city! I have a lot to do so it was nice just to relax and think about Viola. Readthroughs can be deadly dull--sometimes people read better than others, you get impatient when you don't have a line for a long time--but it's good to hear the play all the way through. It occurred to me, during one of Olivia's scenes, why Olivia responds to Viola--because Viola has a core of sadness. There's a layer of grief in everything she does in this play, and underneath all the silliness, Olivia senses that.
ceebeegee: (Midsummer)
(Second time around--this is the two-hour post that was et on Friday.)

So, yeah, uh, Holla Holla is doing another Shakespeare in the Park this summer--Twelfth Night to be performed for three weekends in August as Clinton Cove Park along the Hudson River (at 55th & the River). Ever since I saw Shakespeare in Love I've had that final image in my head of Viola emerging from the water--and I knew if I ever produced or directed it, it would be on the river, with Viola literally coming up out of the water. And that's how this production is starting--Viola pulling herself out of the water and standing there, wet and gasping and shivering. Not only is it a powerful, resonant image, it's also important to establish Viola's situation--she's much more of a waif than Rosalind, Viola has absolutely no support system, she's completely alone. She's such a haunting character--one reason I love Twelfth Night is that melancholy, that pocket of sweet sadness in her and Antonio. It gives depth to what could be a farce--makes it a true comedy.

Why, what would you?

Make me a willow cabin at thy gate
And call upon thy soul within the house
Write loyal cantons of contemned love
And sing them loud, even in the dead of night
Halloo your name to the reverberate hills
And make the babbling gossip of the air cry out...
Olivia.
Oh, you should not rest between the elements of air and earth, but you should pity me...


Another cool thing about this production is that Friends of the Hudson River Park (FOHRP) is partnering with us. Check out their blurb! They've also put a big featured mention of us in their brochure--there's a picture of Kyle and me from Midsummer and a blurb and we're in a different color type. And they're providing us with a running crew--I don't even know if we need one yet but if we do, we've got one! The FOHRP connection came last fall--I happened to be in Hell's Kitchen and saw posted signs advertising a "Comunity Fair" with free food. I was all "Free food, woo hoo!" and went to check it out. When I saw the space, I was intrigued--clean, sweeping space, water, some interesting structural features. I asked if one of the volunteers if they had an arts liaison on the preimises and she beckoned someone over. I said "I'm a producer and we've done several productions of Shakespeare outdoors. We're thinking about doing Twelfth Night this summer--would you be intereseted in partnering with us?" She thought about it, we set up a meeting, I put together a presentation and pitched it, and they went for it. What this means is, is mainly institutional support--they're helping to promote the show and they're facilitating things like permits (they have carte blanche with the Parks Department so I don't have to apply for anything). It's all very exciting.

The cast (I had invited auditions) is as follows (explicatory notes for the uninitiated):

Orsino...Kenneth Ruth (Cinderella's Prince from Into the Woods)
Sebastian...Paul Martinkovic (Flute from Midsummer)
Antonio...Michael Vaccaro (Demetrius from Midsummer)
Valentine/Curio...?????
Sir Toby...Letty Ferrer (fellow Lovestreet refugee, along with Tracy and Tom)
Sir Andrew...Duncan ([livejournal.com profile] king_duncan)
Malvolio...Tom Cleary (Menelaus from 2004's Trojan Women)
Fabian...(Attend the Tale of) Katie Stodd (Peter Quince from Midsummer)
Feste...Jason ([livejournal.com profile] jayspec
Viola...me
Olivia...Tracy Walsch (Hermia in Midsummer and [livejournal.com profile] kimdeal2)
(They Call the Wind) Maria...Elizabeth Ruelas (hi, [livejournal.com profile] actress_in_nyc)
Captain/Priest/Court Musician...Nicholas Santasier (Dominic in Admit Impediments)
Court Musician...Chris Combs ([livejournal.com profile] planga)

Ben Beckley (he was in Eternity: Time Without End is directing and Mickey Zetts ([livejournal.com profile] neoscribe) is composing.

Going into auditions, for my sanity, I'd slotted people into certain roles--you think "well, if all else fails, at least I know this person can play that role." This isn't precasting, it's just a way to kind of organize thinking about all the people you're calling back. When I directed Agnes of God back in DC, I did that...of the three people I'd pre-slotted into those roles, one of them didn't come to callbacks, one of them came but didn't get cast, and only one of them actually played the role I'd pre-slotted her in. This time, I don't think even one person got cast in the role for which I'd pre-slotted him/her. This is why it's essential to keep an open mind--I didn't DREAM Jason would read so well for Feste. He literally sent chills down my spine--he has this edge that's very intriguing for that role. Like many actors, he uses on stage what he rarely if ever accesses offstage--similarly, many famously liberal actors play conservative characters very well (Alan Alda in The West Wing and The Aviator and Richard Dreyfuss in The American President come to mind). I resisted because we were hoping for a female Feste but in the end, I had to go with Jason.

I'm really pleased with my cast. I have to say, I think everyone is cast pretty damn well.

I've started thinking about costumes (can't get started too early) and I'm thinking Mardi Gras colors (purple, green and gold) against black velvet. Twelfth Night is of course January 6--the Feast of Epiphany, which ends the season of Christmas and begins the season of Epiphany/Mardi Gras. Furthermore the theme of Mardi Gras is Misrule--everything is turned upside-down (the song "Topsy Turvy" in the Disney version of Hunchback expresses this--that scene takes place on January 6). The lowly reign; things are crazy and confusing--much as when a young woman is mistaken for her twin brother, and a steward is thrown into prison for no apparent reason. The black velvet will 1) look good against the grass and 2) suggests nobility. It will also highlight the purple, green and gold nicely. I like the idea of black warring against these bright colors--it's a good visual representation of "Dost thou think because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?" Malvolio of course will have no Mardi Gras colors, and Feste will be almost entirely in them.

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