Most of the focus is on the romantic dealings between the Duke, Viola and Olivia, but the genius of Twelfth Night lies in the subplot involving the roguish Sir Toby (James Sugg) and his inept companion Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Andy Paterson). Sir Toby has seemingly made a career out of self-indulgence. In a magnetic performance Sugg’s Sir Toby is like a rock ’n’ roll demigod, only far more hedonistic. Whereas most productions downplay the viciousness of the pranks pulled by Sir Toby and his cohorts, Pig Iron boldly depicts the full extent of the brutality involved. A drunkard who is as reckless as he is gleeful, Toby seeks revenge against the prudish Malvolio (Michael Sean McGuinness). Toby’s scheme against his enemy is humorous, but it is also needlessly cruel, and in Rothenberg’s staging we are simultaneously laughing and cringing as we watch Malvolio’s humiliation.
Through Sept. 17. $25-$30. Suzanne Roberts Theatre. 480 S. Broad St.
ALL SHOWS: 215.413.1318. livearts-fringe.org
The Barrymore Awards aren’t ballyhoo