The Comedy of Errors at MU

This afternoon, A.J. and I went to see The Comedy of Errors at Marquette University. This was an amazing production of this classic show. This show just happens to be play #2 in the Dramagoon Shakespeare Challenge and it was fun to watch as I have finished reading up to the end of Act 3, which is where this production broke for intermission.

There were so many wonderful things about this production. This first thing that I noticed was the costumes. During my senior year at Marquette, in 1986, I saw this show for the first time ever in this same theatre. I remember very little from that previous production except the costumes; the characters were dressed in brightly colored renaissance clothes and the two sets of twins wore patterns that were mirror images of their twin. In today’s production, the costumes were straight out of the TV series Mad Men. I love it when this is done to a Shakespeare play. It shows how timeless his work really is.

Another amazing aspect of this production was that the director cast the entire show with just ten actors. This meant that many of them had to perform multiple parts. In fact, the actors playing the Antipholuses and the Dromios each played both twins. If you know the play, you realize that required some innovation staging in the final scene when all four of them appear on stage together. I won’t give away how they did it but I will say that if for no other reason, this is why you should see this show next weekend.

And finally I would like to mention the acting. This was truly inspired. While never actually overacting, all of the actors played the parts with an intense amount of energy and took their characters to the edge becoming farcical. The Comedy of Errors has many the same elements of a modern-day bedroom farce and that exactly where they took it. Even if you have a hard time understanding Shakespeare’s words, you would have no difficulty understanding the meaning of each character by his or her actions.

Congratulation to the entire cast and crew for putting on such a fantastic show. Oh… and don’t forget that tomorrow, April 23rd, is Shakespeare’s 448th birthday. Celebrate the day by purchasing tickets to this show next weekend.

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