Shine Darkly, Illyria - Theatre Review

A review by Erin Fair.

Robyn Buck and Mercedes Manning

Shine Darkly, Illyria is the newest play from the Fugitive Kind. This quaint little theater with a seating of about thirty is decorated with a furious whimsy. Teal tapestries drape the walls and tin cans dangle from the ceiling setting the stage for the actors to move about the stage seamlessly. The play opens with two actors singing out front and the rest of the cast form a most interesting human carousel. That is when we learn that they celebrate the moon every night with the kind of fervor that would make a Burning Man party-goer enervated.

( Right: Jeff Marras and Alana Marie Cheuvront )

Shine Darkly, Illyria seems like a bedtime story with the master of ceremony relaying the story of Sebastian, Viola, Olivia, and Duke but it is actually a continuation of the unfinished love quadrangle. At the end of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night the happy couples break off into their respective pairs with Viola and Orsino together and Olivia and Sebastian together. In this play the now crestfallen women struggle against their inner carnal desire for each other and remain miserable in their external relationships. Secrets, dependency, and obligations, permeate this production as it unfolds over the course of a hectic rainstorm.

(Left: Mercedes Manning and Benny Wills)      

  This play is an innovative sort-of sequel to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. If you take Moulin Rouge and set it to the backdrop of Shakespeare, you would get Meghan Brown's Shine Darkly, Illyria. This play succeeds on every level. It is impossible to pick out a standout performance, set, costume, or direction. Everyone on the stage and behind the scenes triumphed. However, there was a chaste yet romantic scene done against the backdrop of a jazz lounge atmosphere that was so well done that it must be pointed out. The cast was outstanding and the actress who played the moon displayed an incredible show of strength and ability. Shine Darkly, Illyria has my highest recommendation and this reviewer plans on seeing it again next weekend.

Alana Marie Cheuvront and Mercedes Manning

Thru May 29, 2016
Fugitive Kind Theater @ McCadden Place Theatre
1157 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood, CA 90038
Fri. at 8pm, Sat. at 4pm and 8pm, Sun. at 3pm & 7pm
Tickets are $25. Saturday & Sunday matinee performances are Pay What You Can.
Tickets: (702) 204-6179 or
For more information

Interviews with the Writer and the director:

Posted By Erin Fair on May 11, 2016 12:11 pm | Permalink