Rubber City Theatre continues its production of the Shakespearean comedy Twelfth Night, performed in the round at its black box theater, through this weekend.

The production, directed by Dane Leasure, plays to four sides with the action from multiple locales staged in an outdoor courtyard. In this comedy, the shipwrecked Viola is saved by a captain and brought into the town of Illyria.

Viola assumes her twin brother Sebastian is dead and decides to dress like a man named Cesario to protect herself. She works for the bachelor duke, Orsino (Joseph Soriano).

Mistaken identities of course ensue, especially when the presumed-dead Sebastian (Meshal AlSunaid) appears on the scene. Tania Benites is very likable as heroine Viola, who falls for Orsino on the spot, and Katie Wells is humorous as Olivia, who is immediately smitten with Cesario, the young man Viola is posing as. The story presents a bit of a complicated love triangle as Viola refuses Orsino’s amorous advances.

Added to the mix are an assortment of servants, friends and relatives, chief among them Olivia’s scoundrel uncle Sir Toby Belch (Sean Taylor) and his ridiculous sidekick, Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Matthew Wheeler). Taylor is humorous when his Toby goes on a drunken tear but the actor tends to yell too much.

Wheeler is delightfully funny as Andrew, especially when, in his drunken stupor, he wears his shirt backwards and buttoned up wrong. This actor also cracks us up as he breaks the fourth wall and talks to the audience as his Andrew, Toby and Fabian creep around the perimeter of the stage as they spy on Olivia’s steward Malvolio (Scott Crim) while playing an elaborate trick on him.

Mary Werntz is excellent as Maria, portraying the maid as playing along with Sir Toby’s bawdy jokes rather than acting offended by them. And her Maria shows a true naughtiness as she hatches the plan to trick Malvolio.

Feste, Olivia’s jester or fool played by Nate Homolka, is described as a “great quarreler.” But the fun in Feste’s witty wordplay is often lost due to his serious demeanor on stage. Viola calls Feste “merry” but Homolka does not display a merry, antic disposition in this role. He also holds back too much performance-wise as his Feste sings a melancholy song to the duke.

As Sebastian, AlSunaid at first speaks in a monotone fashion, but redeems himself later. Logan Honsaker is high energy as his rescuer Antonio, who believes he has been forsaken by Sebastian. The moment when the twins are revealed to each other is a dramatic one, thanks to the wonderment that Benites and AlSunaid display.

For tickets to the remaining four productions, which run Thursday through Sunday, call 234-252-0272 or see (The theater is at 2207 Romig Road in Akron.)

‘K4K: Kyle for Kids’

Akron’s Daniel Colaner, teen organist and pianist extraordinaire, whose story of infant cancer survival and virtuosic musicianship took the media by storm when he performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in November, will perform in K4K: Kyle for Kids on March 4 at the Music Box Supper Club in Cleveland.

The event is a benefit for the Kyle Jean-Baptiste Foundation in honor of the late Baldwin Wallace graduate and Broadway star, who was from Brooklyn. The nonprofit foundation was created to enrich youth through the arts, with a major focus on the performing arts (kylejeanbaptiste

Also from the Akron area, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School senior Hope Spinner will perform with the teen vocal group Iconica, which also includes Cleveland-area singers Christian Thomas, Adriana Host and Ally Yellets. Other kids in the concert lineup are Kelsey Jean-Baptiste and James Daring, Lexi Cowan, E’Javien Franklin, Colin Frothingham, Jeremy Hammel, the Singing Angels, the Dance Centre by Heidi Glynias, Near West Theatre, Broadway Buddies, Calista Zajac and Colin Wheeler of Westlake, from the national tour of Finding Neverland.

Doors for the concert hall open at 5:30 p.m., with the show at 7 p.m. Cost is $35. Dinner is not included. For tickets and dinner reservations, see

‘Hamilton’ update

Playhouse Square has announced that tickets for the Cleveland engagement of Hamilton (July 17-Aug. 26) will go on sale in mid-April. The organization warns against risking purchasing fraudulent tickets from any source other than Playhouse Square. It also says group sales will not be available for Hamilton. To stay up to date, sign up for updates at

Weathervane lineup

Weathervane Playhouse rolled out its season lineup for 2018-2019 at its Valentine’s Cabaret Friday. The new season will offer seven mainstage shows and three Emerging Artists shows.

Mainstage productions are The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Sept. 6-23; The Hunchback of Notre Dame musical, Oct. 11-26; Almost, Maine, Jan. 17 to Feb. 3, 2019; Dreamgirls, Feb. 21-March 17, 2019; Noises Off, May 9-26, 2019; and a season-finale musical that the theater will “take a chance on” getting the rights to (hint, hint) for June 13-July 7. The 8X10 TheatreFest of 10-minute plays also will be July 18-21, 2019.

Emerging Artists productions will include Bye Bye Birdie, Aug. 2-19; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Nov. 20-Dec. 22; and The Diary of Anne Frank, April 4-20, 2019. For more information, see

Arts writer Kerry Clawson may be reached at 330-996-3527 or Follow her at @KerryClawsonABJ or