The Ballad of the West

TwelfthNightby Christian Riboldi, dramaturg

As we discussed last time, Shakespeare has been changed and adapted over time for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s in order to be true to Shakespeare, and other times it’s purpose is to appeal to a different audience.

In our version of Twelfth Night we have set the stage in the Wild West. Sebastian and Viola were separated in tornado and now Viola finds herself in a town called Illyria. But this isn’t your regular western Shakespearean town. It’s a town where everyone can sing and dance…well almost everyone.

As you can imagine, cutting Twelfth Night down from 140 minutes to 50 minutes is a major feat. In order to do so many scenes and a few characters were merged with others in order to simplify and essentialize the plot. In addition to cutting, a few musical numbers are added throughout the script to clarify and connect one scene to another. Our script adapter Rick Curtiss and our director Professor Jones did an amazing job creating the lyrics to accompany these comical musical parodies

Every song that is in this show is an original parody of a famous western song and will be sung and accompanied by our talented cast. We have a guitar, trombone, tambourine, ukulele, percussion, and even a cow bell.

As an example here are some of the lyrics to a song sung by Sebastian as he enters sung to the tune “I’m So Lonesome, I Could Cry”.
I bet you all forgotten me,
I’m an unlucky guy,
Stuck out in the desert alone,
I’m so thirsty I might die.
I only had one can of beans,
for when the end was nigh,
a coyote came and stole the can,
I’m so hungry I might die.
At night the critters crawl on me,
by day the vultures fly,
I met a snake, it bit my foot,
I’m so poisoned I might die.Hey what is that up on the ridge,
Is that a ranch I spy,
I hope it has some pretty girls,
If not, I just might die.

I hope you can imagine how fun this show is going to be now! Here are the links to the other songs that inspired our parodies. We hope to see you at the show so you can hear the rest of our fun songs! Until next time!

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