Category Archive for: ‘Flora Lynn Isaacson’

Country Western Adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors at MSC

Patrick Russell as Antipholus and Joe Deline as Dromio in A Comedy of Errors.  Photo by Eric Chazankin

A Comedy of Errors meets comedic cowboys in Marin Shakespeare Company’s Wild West theme take on William Shakespeare’s timeless farce written in 1594.  This version of A Comedy of Errors finds the cities of Abilene and Amarillo at war when some luckless cowboy merchants get caught up in a wild adventure of mistaken identity and romantic love.

A Comedy of Errors is one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays. It is his shortest and one of his most farcical comedies, with a major part of the humor coming from slapstick and mistaken identity, in addition to puns and word play.

A Comedy of Errors tells the story of two sets of identical twins who were accidentally separated at birth.  Antipholus of Amarillo and his servant Dromio of Amarillo arrive in Abilene which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Abilene and Dromio of Abilene.

When the Amarillos encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps, based on mistaken identities, lead to wrongful beatings, a near seduction, the arrest of Antipholus of Abilene and false accusations of infidelity, theft, madness and demonic possession. This madcap farce is adapted and directed by Lesley and Robert Currier and features live music and original songs, written for this adaptation by Leslie Harlib.

Outstanding performances are given by Patrick Russell playing both roles of Antipholus and John Deline, in a clown suit, as the two Dromios.  The two ladies of the town are delightful as played by Amanda Salazar as Adriana and Elena Wright as her sister Luciana.  Jack Powell as Aegeon opens and closes the show as a country hick and his wife, Jessica Powell closes the show in a surprise ending. Gary Grossman is particularly funny in a small role as Dr. Pinch.  Choreographer Lesley Schisgall Currier opens the show with a delightful square dance to put us in the mood. Billie Cox and her imaginative sound design back her up throughout.  The authentic country western costumes are designed by Tammy Berlin and Ellen Brooks does a great job with lighting.

A Comedy of Errors is a fun introduction to Shakespeare for all ages with some delightful new twists for Shakespeare fans.  A Comedy of Errors runs July 19-September 29, 2013 at Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, Dominican University, 890 Belle Avenue, San Rafael.  For tickets, call the box office at 415-499-4488 or go online at www.marinshakespeare.org.

Coming up next at Marin Shakespeare Company will be All’s Well That Ends Well directed by Robert Currier, August 24-September 28, 2013.

Flora Lynn Isaacson

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