Review: The Comedy of Errors

Double the double trouble.

Double the double trouble.

Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival

6 p.m. Sunday; $15-$18. Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, William A. Carroll Amphitheatre in William Land Park; Through July 30.
Rated 3.0

Dromio, Dromio, wherefore art thou, Dromio. He’s here—and over there. He’s a they—identical twins unknown to each other. And there’s a pair of Antipholuses, too, likewise unknown to each other.

Shakespeare’s farce The Comedy of Errors opened the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival in Land Park last week and will play in repertory with another Shakespeare comedy, All’s Well That Ends Well, which opens July 7.

The play begins with Egeon (Sonny Alforque), a merchant from Syracuse, being condemned to death in Ephesus for violating a travel ban. Hmm.

Director Luther Hanson, a master of comic timing and swift scene changes, sets the play on the Mediterranean in 1900 and it’s a nonstop madcap comedy that foreshadows the Marx Brothers.

At the heart of the story are two sets of identical twins who were separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse (Christine Nicholson) and his servant Dromio (Fiona Nies) arrive in Ephesus, which happens to be the home of their twins Antipholus of Ephesus (Kathleen Poe) and his manservant Dromio (Cole Yambrovich).

When residents of Ephesus mistake the Syracusans for the locals, a series of mistaken identities, arrests, accusations of infidelity, theft and even demonic possession ensue. Matt Malone is excellent as the conjurer, Dr. Pinch. Dale Flint (uncredited in the program) plays the Abbess, delivering Shakespeare’s words most wonderfully.