Chorus of Westerly stages its spectacular "Celebration of Twelfth Night"

Last year's "Celebration of Twelfth Night" featured a Russian-style dance number (above), but this year's story is set in a mythical Asian kingdom.
Last year's "Celebration of Twelfth Night" featured a Russian-style dance number (above), but this year's story is set in a mythical Asian kingdom. Cover photo and above by Brian Lucas

Each year, the Chorus of Westerly's "Celebration of Twelfth Night" gets a new script. They'd always been stand-alone stories, more or less, but two years ago, writer Harvey Blanchette had an idea. He envisioned a five-year story arc for "Twelfth Night." The setting would be four kingdoms that are beset by a dark force but are ultimately saved by a Chosen One.

This year's part of the tale takes place in the mythical Asian kingdom of Kasai, the fire kingdom. Those who might have missed last year shouldn't fear; while it relates to the rest of the five-year tale, this year's story also can be understood and appreciated on its own.

The production will weave together elements from various Asian cultures, and, because of its new setting, it will boast new set pieces and costumes being created specifically for this show.

This being "Celebration of Twelfth Night," it promises all the familiar traditions, too - the audience King and Queen "Cake" scene, the Abbott's Bromley Horn Dance, the Boar's Head Carol.

And it features one of the biggest casts in the show's 37 years, with more than 350 performers under the direction of Derron Wood of New London's Flock Theatre and under the musical direction of the Chorus of Westerly's own George Kent.

It all happens this weekend, with a preview Friday and then multiple shows Saturday and Sunday in the chorus' George Kent Performance Hall.

- Kristina Dorsey

"A Celebration of Twelfth Night," George Kent Performance Hall, 119 High St., Westerly; 1, 4 and 8 p.m. Sat. and Sun.; also, preview 7:30 p.m. Fri.; $15-$68; (401) 596-8663, chorusofwesterly.org.

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