Imagine Zorba the Greek dancing into Bollywood and taking lessons in vaudeville and slap stick comedy from Laurel and Hardy and you have an inkling about the current Hartford Stage's truly delightful production of William Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors." Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak has pulled out all the stops, pushed the envelope to the limits and conjured up a splendid tribute to the Bard that is guaranteed to tickle your fancy. Until Sunday, February 12, forget your troubles and come get happy with Hartford Stage.
It's 1965 and the sun bleached, white-washed set created by Darko Tresnjak welcomes you to abandon yourself as if on a honeymoon of pure pleasure. Not everyone on the isle of Ephesus is happy. Just listen to Adriana (Jolly Abraham) whose husband Antipholus (Ryan-James Hatanaka) is late for dinner and she sends their servant Dromio (Matthew Macca) to speedily fetch him. That is the precise moment that comic chaos starts to bubble over. Unbeknownst to each other, Antipholus and Dromio are pairs of twins whose other halves were separated years before in a tragic accident at sea.
Now Antipholus of Syracuse (Tyler Lansing Weaks) and his Dromio (Alan Schmuckler) have just arrived on Ephesus and are quickly mistaken for their counterparts. Ephesus has a strange and dangerous law. Anyone who comes to the land must pay a huge fine or be sentenced to death. Quite recently a stranger, Aegeon, (Noble Shropshire) a merchant from Syracuse, seeking word of his long lost wife and sons, has had the misfortune to be caught by the Duke of Ephesus (Michael Elich) and given one day to beg for the necessary funds to save his life.
Soon the two brothers and the two servants are mistaken for each other, the unwed one is besotted with the sister of the other's wife ( Mahira Kakkar as Luciana), a valuable gold chain created by Angelo, the goldsmith (Brendan Averett) goes missing and the two Dromios are pursued by the same woman Nell (Tara Heal), all with a whole lot of wonderful singing and dancing, especially by the courtesan (Paula Leggett Chase). Peggy Hickey's inspired choreography and Fabio Goblin's fabulous costumes add to Darko Tresnjak's glorious vision for a splendid production.
For tickets ($25 and up), call the Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at 860-527-5151 or online at www.hartfordstage.org.
Performances are Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and matinees Saturday andSunday at 2 p.m.
Scandals and falsehoods, mistaken identities and sorcery abound and yet Shakespeare prophesies that "all's well that ends well" and this is certainly the case in this deliciously dance filled show.