What’s funnier than a Roman comedy with twin masters who take turns baffling people and beating up their confused common servant? Well of course, twin servants to go with the twin masters. At least that’s what William Shakespeare did in The Comedy of Errors .
The Monroe County Civic Theater’s Third Street Park series presents a production adapted and directed by Kyle McIntosh. McIntosh is a regular on the Bloomington theatre scene. A couple of years ago he directed a Third Street Park production of one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest farragoes Titus Andronicus . I’m pleased to tell you that his turn at comedy is even more successful and the body count a good deal lower.
McIntosh chose to use a television sitcom format for his opening with a voice over setting up the action and a character by character introduction as each was named and rushed on and off stage. There were little musical bridges between the scenes and even a discrete but timely recorded laugh track. In addition to a fast introduction, McIntosh has judicially cut the show and it plays in a little less than an hour.
Scot Shambin and Dane Bolinger did a nice job as the twin masters of The Comedy of Errors . They were ably seconded by their twin servants, Martin Wilson and Sean Fear. Rachel Esarey was the classiest of local merchants. Jessical Lawson was appropriately slutty as the local courtesan. Sina Kramer, Katelin hope Vesely, Tyler Andrews and Rance Fawfush were effective as the variously befuddled in laws and associates. Frank Buczolich, Jon Jennings, Tim Johnson and Judy Blackburn were at the crux of the legal and even religious forces who help with the complications and the straightening out of the story. Nile J. Arena was a doctor, a messenger even a beleaguered Shakespeare student.
Saturday night’s weather for The Comedy of Errors was actually chilly in the park, but the production more than warmed things up. Diction from the whole cast was good and there was respect for the weight or lightness of the lines. The whole cast moved smoothly and briskly. The live audience usually laughed in the same places but a good deal louder than the recorded laugh track.