December 3, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

The Delightful Queerness of Crossdressing in Four Clowns’ “Welcome to Illyria!”

Four Clowns’ “Welcome to Illyria” is the Shakespeare remake we didn’t know we needed for the holidays.

Performing now through December 16, the clowning cast of 9 recreates William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in a fresh and fun twist.

“‘Twelfth Night’ has always been my favorite Shakespearian comedy,” play director and new artistic director for Four Clowns Joe DeSoto said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t know as many talented physical comedians back then as I do now.”

The play uses physical comedy to maintain a fast pace with sharp-wit humor. From simple intentional fumbling of props, to the grace and movement of all the characters across the stage for musical numbers, the talent sand skill of these trained clown actors is evident. Any audience member is in for a wild ride. The play premise follows separated twins as they search for each other on the island of Illyria. Through a series of probably avoidable circumstances (were we not dealing with the Bard and, well, a clowning troupe), a cross-dressing sister with the best of intentions causes a wave of unrequited love, identity confusion and serenading that would put any ol’ lute player to shame.

The queer undertones of the play are subtle, yet charming. A series of love stories revolving around a young woman disguised as a man, “Welcome to Illyria” is lightheaded in LGBTQ representation, yet by the end of the play one character is almost delighted to have a “boyfriend.” Social progress nonetheless.

“‘Welcome to Illyria’ is light-hearted, fun, outrageous, engaging, exciting….” DeSoto said. “As simple as it may sound, I really just want our audience to have a blast and to leave the theatre feeling energized.”

Though consisting of a cast of professional clowns, the play covers a wide range of emotion: love, loss, longing and betrayal. The audience leaves feeling satiated. From Shakespeare’s classic text, Four Clowns created this cohesive production that results in a hilarious holiday romp with song, dance and a wrestling match for the hand of the main love interest. This play proves that Four Clowns is relatable and relevant, no matter what project they decide to tackle. 

Four Clowns’ “Welcome to Illyria” is running now through December 16, with performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. The play is two hours long, with a 10-minute intermission. Rated PG-13. For more information and tickets, CLICK HERE.

Related Posts

Happening Now: West Hollywood’s LGBTQ+ Arts Festival

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

By Susan Payne Happening now through the end of June, WeHo Pride LGBTQ Arts Festival celebrates the artistic contributions of...

California Trans Child Molester Gets 2 Years In Juvenile Facility

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

A Los Angeles County judge ordered Hannah Tubbs, a transgender California woman, to serve two years in a juvenile facility...

Homeless Initiative Meeting In West Hollywood

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

The City of West Hollywood’s Homeless Initiative works to address homelessness with a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, collaborative response. It’s estimated that...

WeHo Premieres the ‘Moving Image Media Art’ Exhibition Series

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

The City of West Hollywood announces the premiere of the Moving Image Media Art (MIMA) program and the worldwide debut...

LA Street Will Potentially Be Named After Anti-LGBTQ Singer

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

A portion of Bailey Street may be renamed to the late Mexican Mariachi singer ” Vicente Fernandez Street’ – a...

WeHo Spreads Word About Free Covid Testing

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

The City of West Hollywood is reminding residents that free COVID-19 testing is available for them.  Demand for COVID-19 testing...

Green Qween New Queer-Owned Cannabis Shop Will Open Downtown

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

Green Qween, a new queer-owned and queer-driven cannabis shop, will open in downtown on April 20th.  The shops owners, Andrés...

2022 ‘WeHo Reads’ Series Celebrates the ‘Road to Joy’

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

The City of West Hollywood invites community members to celebrate literature and local authors with its 2022 WeHo Reads literary...

New CA Law Helps With Transgender Deadnames

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

A new California law requires public colleges to update diplomas and records for transgender students who have changed their names....

MJ Rodriguez, 1st Openly Transgender Actress to Win Golden Globe

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

Michaela Jae “MJ” Rodriguez has made history by becoming the first openly transgender person to win a Golden Globe.  The...

Animal Shelter Donations In Honor Of Betty White

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

Animal shelter donations have increased exponentially in honor of late actress gay icon and animal lover Betty White. Over the...

AIDS/LifeCycle 2022 Needs More Volunteers

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

AIDS LifeCycle is back with more than $4 million raised so far for the 2022 ride benefitting the HIV/AIDS-related services...

Long Beach Named One of the Best LGBTQ Cities

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

For the 10th year in a row Long Beach has been named one of the best cities in the nation...

Gay Wedding At Dodger Stadium

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

Eric Braverman and Jonathan Cottrell will exchange vows at Dodger Stadium. Showing the progress the LA Dodgers have made as...

LGBTQ Haven in Long Beach

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

Long Beach is quickly becoming more and more of a safe haven for LGBTQ individuals with its queer spaces exploding...