No, the other guy
The Comedy of Errors
The Comedy of Errors, one of Shakespeare’s earlier plays (some scholars call it the first), relies on mistaken identity rather than on language for its jokes—which makes it perfect for outdoor performance, given the potential for distractions. A double set of twins, separated at birth and bearing the same names—the gentlemanly brothers Antipholus (played in stentorian splendor by the full-voiced Rod Breton and Michael Murphy) and the servant brothers Dromio (with some loose-limbed, cross-gender casting played here by the hyperactive Kira Taylor and Allison Hoggard)—are mistaken for each other and complicate each others’ lives at every turn. Hilarity ensues.
The Sacramento Shakespeare Festival’s production, with fin-de-siècle Paris standing in for Ephesus, rollicks with can-can girls and fart jokes, a demonstration of the perfect way to dress up a straightforward set of complications and milk the play for every possible laugh. The inevitable family reunion—and the love-match required for a Shakespearean comedy’s finale—arrive, like any happy ending, right on schedule.
Meanwhile, the audience has been treated to a number of sight gags, like a drag-queen Moulin Rouge dance-hall girl, and a running shtick in which one unwilling Dromio (Taylor) gets chased around the stage by the lovesick, oversized scullery maid who thinks he’s her beloved—the other Dromio. Yep, it’s that kind of funny.