Theater review: This ‘Comedy’ is ‘Error’-free

A series of comedic incidents actually results in a trip to the funny farm. Credit: Joan Marcus
A series of comedic incidents actually results in a trip to the funny farm.
Credit: Joan Marcus

The opener to this season’s two-play Shakespeare in the Park series is perhaps one of the most approachable works of the Bard to ever grace the Delacorte. A tight 90 minutes total, the comedy — which is surprisingly staged less often than some of its counterparts — is easy to follow in story even when the language is less understandable. Audiences of all ages and all levels of exposure to theater or Shakespeare will still enjoy the hijinks of “Comedy of Errors.”

The plot follows the story of two sets of identical twins who both arrive in the same city at the same time — they’ve not only never met, but aren’t aware that they have brothers at all. Of course a hilarious series of mistaken identity shenanigans occur — here showcased as a high art in and of itself. In the current staging, director Daniel Sullivan puts the action in 1930s New York, with jazzy dancers, bluesy singers and imposing mobsters running the city.

Hamish Linklater takes the lead as Antipholus and his brother (for some reason, he uses the same name, if only to make the flip-flopping work). Jesse Tyler Ferguson is his faithful servant Dromio and takes the role of the clown in this work; he, too, plays his own same-named twin brother. The men are joined by the equally talented ladies Emily Bergl and Heidi Schreck, playing one man’s wife and her single sister. They, of course, get entangled in the confusion. One can probably guess how the romantic conflicts resolve.

With slapstick physical comedy and elevated, witty dialogue, low and high humor are played against each other in perfect harmony. The sets are simpler and more square than John Lee Beatty’s usual, but that really lets the action — which could otherwise be confusing — have all the attention. The music and dance interludes are also great fun.

If you go

Through June 30, 8:30 p.m.
The Delacorte Theater, Central Park
www.shakespeareinthepark.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."