The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0997. Thursday, 2 October 1997.
Date: Thursday, 02 Oct 1997 6:35 -0500
Subject: Comedy of Errors -Wash D.C.
Just a quick note to mention that The Comedy of Errors closes in
Washington DC this weekend. Performed by the Washington Shakespeare
Company, it is primarily interesting because they have elected to "cross
cast" most of the roles (if that is the correct term). The twins are
now sisters, husbands are now wives, courtesans ... something else. I
haven't really compared with the text, but it appears "mistress" and
"master"; "brother" and "sister"; "harlot" and "villain" have been
substituted liberally throughout the play. I'm also wondering if some
speeches weren't switched. As I said, seeing how the casting ripples
through the play is the most interesting part. It is also the casting
that makes for the funniest element of the play, in as much as the two
Dromios are so completely different in stature, feature and complexion.
They are costumed identically and wigged identically in bright orange
little-orphan-Annie hair-dos; but to see the short pale Dromio stare at
her towering dark sister and claim her as her mirror is a hoot. Taunya
Martin, as the tall dark Dromio from Syracuse, is the hilarious
highlight of the play. It is a very stripped down version, with
limited, if not resourceful stage and prop choices and playing in
Rosslyn till Sunday.