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Twelfth Night


Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
Posted in

Monday, April 30, 2001



Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

This classic line is from William Shakespeares play Twelfth Night, now playing at the Commonweal Theatre through October 28th. While this line evokes classic Shakespeare, the play itself is a robust and upbeat comedy. It is a strength of the Commonweal Company to present classic content in a fresh package. The stage, costumes, and acting create an enjoyable atmosphere that is sure to please the connoisseur and the hesitant Shakespeare viewer alike.

The performance opens to a serene, seaside setting where Duke Orsino is passionately "feeding" his growing love for Olivia with music. The colors, lighting, and characters in this introductory scene immediately dispel any preconceived notions of a Shakespeare play that one might have. Orsino (Eric Knutson) is not a stuffy count, but rather more like a Beat poet, complete with wire rimmed shades and a precise goatee. His attendants, Valentine and Curio, stand at his beck and call in the background in equally fantastic sunglasses, wearing strange hats, and dressed in colors that evoke more femininity than power.

The attendants move across the stage with geometric precision. Heading in a straight path, they feint toward center stage then continue on their original path. The audience soon learns that all Illyrians move in this manner, as if they are eluding a pursuer or deliberately creating ambiguity. Viola (and the audience) is left to sort out the customs of this strange place.

Unilateral views of reality are challenged as Director Grant Neale masterfully toys with the notion of perception. Neale is intrigued by the subplot of dual identity and perception. He writes, "we have created a world or at least a country (Illyria) which mirrors or highlights these ideas. Every aspect of Illyria from the settings and costumes, to the use of objects and the physical actions of the Illyrians-is created to contain a duality or ambiguity of identity making for a unique, meaningful, and delightfully comic place to visit."

Tessa Zugmeyer plays Viola, a young noble woman who has survived a shipwreck but she fears that her twin brother, Sebastian, perished in the storm. After consulting with the sailor who rescued her from the storm, Viola discovers that she is in a land called Illyria.

The sailor informs her that there are two courts to be served i .....
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Book Review: Recently released Minnesota books

Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Last month I attended the annual convention of the Upper Midwest Bookseller Association in downtown St. Paul, a gathering of authors, publishers and independent booksellers.

I was impressed, as I was last year, by the number of fine books of ..... 
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Rushford Library looking at expansion

Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Monday, November 20

To build or to remodel? That is the question a Library Taskforce has been considering for the past couple months in the city of Rushford.

The existing public library in the Tew Building, located near Rushfords cent ..... 
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Gateway Towns

Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Austin


Greetings from Austin, Minnesota! Located on I-90, visitors from the west will come through this major city located on the Cedar River.

Austin is the home of the Fortune 500 company -- Geo. A. Hormel & ..... 
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Northeastern Iowa

Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Northeast Iowa shares much of the same topography of Historic Bluff Country. Limestone bluffs, meandering rivers, springs, and rolling hills in the east and softly rolling hills with rich prairie soil in the west. Minnesota and Iowa also share the sa ..... 
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Anytown, MN

Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Nestled in a deep valley of the Root River is the unique city of Anytown. This quaint townsite of less than one thousand residents, located in the state hardwood forest reminds one of the many hillside villages in Norway.

Strolling down the ..... 
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Not in my backyard

Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Monday, June 26, 2000

In the usually quiet burg of Spring Valley, the hot topic of conversation has switched as of late. While recent flooding has left the community with much to contemplate, another issue is sizzling to the forefront. Whats ..... 
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Wykoff, MN

Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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When you visit the heart of Bluff Country, take the drive on MN Hwy. 80 and you will find Wykoff, "The Gateway to Forestville."

Our limestone karst region is dotted with "sink holes" which indicate caverns below ground. You can visit one of t ..... 
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Whalan/Highland area

Fri, Sep 28th, 2001
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Whalan, with a population of about 90, is one of the smaller towns on the trail, though one of the most memorable. The town provides excellent access to the [Read the Rest]
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