The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare's first comedy, has always been a comedy of mistaken identity, but now, in an adaptation set in 1946 Hollywood, the Sacramento Theatre Company will include characters such as Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Stewart, and the Marx Brothers in the plot.
The adaptation, by STC Artistic Director Stephen Rothman, and Wm. Eric Bramlett, sporting 1940's celebrities speaking the Bard's prose, first played at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival in 1995.
Rothman felt the comedy was similar to the great comic team of Abbot and Costello, which inspired thoughts of the great films of the 1940's. Rothman says, "We're approaching The Comedy of Errors hopefully the way Shakespeare would have approached it...Anything we've done in this adaptation is to try to serve Shakespeare to a 1997 audience and reinforce what Shakespeare is trying to say."
Michael Haney makes his STC directorial debut.The Comedy of Errors runs in rep with Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, Mar 8-April 27. For tickets or more information, please call (916) 443-6722, ore refer to the regional listing on Playbill On-Line.
-- By Blair Glaser