Shakespeare on the Green presents of 'The Comedy of Errors'
Updated 3:58 pm, Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Mistaken identities and wild misadventures abound in this summer's Shakespeare on the Green presentation of "The Comedy of Errors." This is Curtain Call's eighth annual free outdoor summer production with performances beginning today at 7:30 p.m. on the great lawn at Sterling Farms in Stamford.
This year's free (contributions appreciated) outdoor production will play on Curtain Call's own version of the Globe Theatre stage (designed by Curtain Call associate artistic director Peter Barbieri, Jr., today, Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and July 16.
"The Comedy of Errors" concerns the misadventures of a pair of upper class twins, Antipholus of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus. They're separated from one another as young children due to a shipwreck that also separates their mom and dad as well as their equally youthful twin servants, now Dromio of Syracuse and Dromio of Ephesus. When the Syracuse pair shows up in Ephesus 20 years later, mistaken identities abound, a situation exacerbated by the edicts of the Duke of Ephesus. The setting this production takes us into is the 1920s, with gangster overtones adding to the hilarity which embraces the mad spirit of Shakespeare's play.
Directed by Stamford native Michael Limone, "The Comedy of Errors" will feature a cast of 26, including from Stamford: Tom DeSalvo, Roger Dykeman, Brad Eaton, Kimberley Lowden, Julia Maggiola, Brian Maher, David Pollard, Kari Ann Sweeney, Kevin Thompson and Ashley Wilson; from Norwalk: Jeff Bianco, Andrew Harrington, Dominick Lettera and Kyle Runnestad; from Darien; Amy Wade and Thomas Wade; from Bridgeport: Abigail Hubbard and Leslie Jones; from Milford: David Tate; from Branford: Jessica Rodi; from Ridgefield: Evan Costa; from Westport: Ryan O'Neill; from Shelton: Joanna Bair; from Carmel, N.Y: Joe Efferen; from Mamaroneck, N.Y.: Rob Nichols; from New York, N.Y., Rebecca Judelson; from Pleasantville, N.Y.: Jennifer Weiss.
"The team that assembled for this production of `The Comedy of Errors,' set within the gangster world of the Roaring '20s New York, has been working hard to bring this story to life for a modern audience in a way that stays true to its original intention," Limone said.
"It is irreverent and fun, and it does not take itself too seriously. It is easy to follow and leaves you wanting to get up and do the Charleston."
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"I am thrilled to have Mike (Limone) back directing here for the first time in many years," Lou Ursone, Curtain Call executive director and producer for this production, said. "He's a terrific director who really understands the material and is great at working with a large cast like ours for this production."
"Directing Shakespeare is an interesting challenge. The basic principles of direction remain the same -- `telling the story in the way you feel the author intended' " -- with Shakespeare, however, you simply have the added element of the language," Limone said. "If you approach that challenge as an adventure, then it becomes less daunting. I would say the same is true for watching Shakespeare."
"Outdoor Shakespeare is a terrific way to introduce audiences to the works of Shakespeare," Ursone said. "The casual atmosphere makes the entire event less intimidating, more accessible and ultimately more enjoyable. From Shakespeare aficionados to those hearing his words for the first time, young and old alike will enjoy this production.
"This is a truly terrific, full-family event, especially due to the slapstick elements of this production," Ursone said. Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets and/or chairs, though a limited number of reserved seats are available.
This program, the brainchild of Barbieri, is the result of a major collaboration on the part of Curtain Call, The Stamford Golf Authority and The Royal Green Restaurant.
"It's an absolutely amazing time for all of us here at Sterling Farms," Ursone said, adding that for many years people talked about having free Shakespeare in Stamford and now, eight years into it, it's a summer tradition for many. "We are thrilled to be able to provide this annual event free to area residents through the generous financial support of several sponsors," he said.
The park will open at 6 p.m. each day. Food and beverages will be available in the adjoining tent or may be pre-ordered through The Royal Green Restaurant at 203-322-6244. Alcoholic beverages may not be brought into the park. Parking is available across the street at Davenport Ridge School.
For more information, visit www.curtaincallinc.com or call 203-329-8207. Curtain Call is a nonprofit community-based theatre company in residence at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Ave. in Stamford.
Year-round productions and workshops are presented by and for area residents in The Kweskin Theatre and The Dressing Room Theatre. Curtain Call was voted Fairfield County's Best Local Theatre Group 2005 through 2011 in the Annual Readers' Poll of The Fairfield County Weekly and Best Live Theatre by the readers of StamfordPlus magazine for 2008 through 2011. Curtain Call recently was recognized with The Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.