June through August, 2023
Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Review: Virtual ‘The Comedy of Errors’ camp x 3
BAILEYS HARBOR, Wis. (WFRV) – A camp version of a camp version of a camp play. That’s Door Shakespeare’s take on William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” done virtually in a Zoom setup. “Camp” = Tongue in cheek… or for the fun of it… or spoofy.
Door Shakespeare is keepin’ on keepin’ on virtually.
One of the attractions of watching is akin to that of the lure of a road accident you happen upon and, as you slow to pass, you wonder, “How did that happen?”
In this case, massive headaches of directing and editing this thing are comical to imagine. And there is plenty that’s funny in the first place – Shakespeare’s clever tongue, the goofus story and sight gags.
There are 16 characters… and five actors. The twin characters sometimes speak to one another. Sometimes, action happens from one box to the adjacent box – like a slap or the exchange of money or the passing of a note (a sight-gag musical note in this case). For the climax of the story, 12 characters are on the Zoom/“Hollywood Squares”-like screen.
Talk about nutty.
The cast is devoted. By golly, the players are going to play Shakespeare’s characters with mustard and emphasize words and expressions even though they’re probably alone in a room someplace acting to air.
Duane Boutté has a refined style of delivery as the Duke and knows how to be bollixed as the Antipholuses (Antipholi?).
The Dromios have a built-in ruggedness that Charles Fraser dishes out in scrappy verbal and visual humor, especially a hand gimmick he manipulates through.
The marriageable Luciana is portrayed by Rayne Kleinofen, who has a blast in mustache as the nasty Dr. Pinch.
Wary wife Adriana is portrayed by Linda Stein, whose side trips including r-r-rolling an Irish br-r-rogue as the nun.
Setting up the maze of a story as Aegeon is James Carrington, who is like Fourth of July fireworks as the strumpet.
The humor is wry and somewhat earthy in the first place. This production adds layers to both.
Michael Stebbins had to organize this somehow as director, and then Neil Brookshire had to piece all the pieces together. They had to be crazy.
At the core, it is bizarre fun and the stuff of legend a generation or two down the road.
To read more about The Comedy of Errors or purchase tickets, go here.
Read the complete review by Warren Gerds on WeAreGreenBay.com.