The Comedy of Errors
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Carl Jordan
For schedule (free admission):
Old Mill Park Amphitheatre
Mill Valley, CA
The Curtain Theatre
RUN: August 20 – September 11, 2016
RATING: 5 of 5 stars
(August 20, 2016)
The Comedy of Errors is Shakespearean comedy at its finest. Two sets of twins are separated in a shipwreck, and years later happen upon the same town, Ephesus, where they are constantly mistaken for each other. The Curtain Theatre has surrounded them with a vibrant Roaring 20s community filled with pinstripe suit gangsters, glamorous warbling courtesans, and enough fringe to cover an entire fleet of surreys. The play is made to be set in this era—with two feisty heroines, merchants willing to look the other way for a payout, and a lot of fuss made over a gold chain.
Steve Coleman’s set design is a detailed winding street with splashes of warm Tuscan colors, complete with a miniature centaur hanging by the inn bearing its name. Baubles and bangles galore dazzle from the costume design team of Amaris Blagborne, Melissa Claire, and Janice Deneau. Set amid a stately redwood grove, the stage is a feast for the senses.
The two Dromios (Heather Cherry and Nick Christenson) caper in increasing confusion between masters, receiving hard knocks from whatever is at hand—baguettes, forks, stuffed animals, and rubber chickens, assisted by percussion from the musicians. Carl Jordan’s direction leads to clever buffoonery and comical reactions from other cast members observing Dromio’s distress. The twin masters, Skylar Collins and Adam Niemann, react to circumstances with genuine surprise and distress, buffeted along by increasingly odd circumstances.
Luciana (Heather Gordon) carries herself with sprightly ease, wrestling with an attraction toward the man she supposes to be her brother-in-law. Adriana (Melissa Claire) believes her husband has deserted her, and after downing several flutes of champagne, sets off to bring him home. She is the driving force of the plot, and a powerful example of a woman unwilling to give up on the man she loves. Equally put upon is the drawling Mae West goldsmith (Alexis Christenson) peering over her furs with a cunning eye, and outraged when her chain is taken without payment.
Curtain Theatre puts the old razzle-dazzle into The Comedy of Errors, creating a jazz hall adaptation that will delight all ages. Do not miss this charismatic take on Shakespeare’s classic play—it’s the bee’s knees.