"Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit." - Feste Twelfth Night
Shakespeare knew how to get his audience rolling in the aisles. Shakespeare's clowns and lovable fools evolved throughout the course of his career from the slapstick comedy of Touchstone in As You Like It to the cerebral and biting fool in King Lear.
In Twelfth Night, Feste provides a unique impartial third party who not only observes the madness all around him but jumps right into the fray.
Today, we'd like to introduce you to Lev Harvey whose brilliant portrayal of the quick-witted and sharp-tongued musical fool, Feste, will have you rolling in the aisles.
Name: Lev Harvey
What character do you play in Twelfth Night?
Where are you originally from?
Teaneck, New Jersey
When you're not onstage, what can you be found doing?
Probably eating bagels and teaching yoga! Other than that watching the Yankees.
What intrigues you most about Shakespeare?
The fact that all of his works are so layered and rooted, you can never be 'finished' when dissecting or performing a play of his. I love how you can revisit the text a thousand times, and on attempt number one thousand and one, you find something new. Also his use of vowels I think is fascinating. If you take out the consonants on a specific line and just enunciate the vowels, it can sometimes convey something beautiful I think.
What character is on your Shakespeare "bucket list" to play?
I would definitely go with King Lear. It's been said it's the Shakespearian Death of a Salesman, in which there can be many similarities between Lear and Willy. They both have false ideals and perspectives of life in addition to having a favorite child, and both were blinded by how much that child loved them. It's just such a powerhouse of a role I would love to tackle way down the road. In the same vein of King Lear though, Edmund the Bastard would be a great deal of fun to play given his schemes which for the most part are successful. I also absolutely love his monologue in 1.2.
Favorite Shakespearean quote:
"The better part of valor is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life"- Falstaff (Henry IV) I take this quote to mean that with my bravery should come caution, and with that caution, could I could save my life. In times of dispute, whether the stakes be big or small, remembering to walk away could save you in the long run.
Twelfth Night is a classic tale of twins shipwrecked and separated in a foreign land. Both assuming the other has perished - search for a way to survive in this strange new world. In doing so, they find themselves quickly caught up in the shenanigans of a world filled with clowns, pirates, and lovers.
Twelfth Night performs July 14, 15, 21, 22 at 7pm and July 23 at 5pm at the Alchemical Theatre Laboratory. Tickets may be purchased in advance here.
About Classics on the Rocks:
Shakespeare doesn't have to be complicated and it's our mission at Classics on the Rocks to make classical theatre accessible, exciting, palatable, and fun for everyone - whether you're brand new to Shakespeare or have read the canon cover to cover.
At Classics on the Rocks, we believe that just as whiskey doesn't need anything more than rocks to tame it's bite. Shakespeare doesn't need fancy concepts, modernizations, frilly costumes, or big sets to make it relatable. All you need are talented actors who trust the text and tell the story. It's classics served simply on the rocks.