"The Comedy of Error" presented by The Public Theater at Delacorte Theater, June 2, 2013
(photo by Joan Marcus)
The first of the Public Theater's presentations of Shakespeare in the Park is Shakespeare's take on Plautus' Menaechmi,
complicated with an extra set of twins separated as small children.
There's no adaptation credit given in the playbill, but one might
presume that dramaturg Robert Blacker was pivotal in the streamlining of
the book down to a 90 minute one-act. The result is a farce set in a
1940s Ephesus, complete with a jitterbugging, lindy hopping chorus
gathered around the jukebox - - Shakespeare meets Guy and Dolls.
Daniel Sullivan focuses his energies around Hamish Linklater and Jesse
Tyler Ferguson as they take on the dual roles of Antipholus and Dromio,
respectively. Mr. Linklater achieves the greater success in creating
two distinct characters around the long-lost brothers. Mr. Ferguson
comes in a close second. Heidi Schreck also manages to find her way as
Luciana. Skip Suddeth brings us a Tony Soprano-style Duke. The rest of
the cast is serviceable if unremarkable, except for Emily Bergl's
gasp-worthy pratfall as Adriana.
The pace is good. The costumes colorful and sets work nicely. There are plenty of laughs. It's a good night in Central Park.
Tickets are free, distributed the day of each show at the Delacorte box office. The Comedy of Errors runs through June 30.