Shakespeare's plays contain lyrics or references to more than 100 songs. Today, the Bard no doubt would have written Twelfth Night as a musical.
That's the sense given by Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre's enchanting production. From its first line - "If music be the food of love, play on" - Fabian Obispo's original music accentuates the melancholic theme in a duke's rejoinder to a fool's question: "Would you rather have a love song or a song of good life?" "A love song. I care not for good life."
Duke Orsino (Jered McLenigan) pines for Countess Olivia (Caroline Crocker), who forswears love until she meets Viola (Victoria Rose Bonito), disguised as a man in the Duke's employ. Uppity servant Malvolio (Rob Kahn) fancies himself a suitable suitor for Olivia, as does a foppish knight, Aguecheek (Johnny Smith); each invents reasons why he loves and she does not.