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Onstage: The Comedy of Errors

By Tom McElfresh · April 7th, 2009 · CityBeat Recommends

The Z-movie nonsense that director Matt Johnson packaged in and around The Comedy of Errors at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC) is little if any more nonsensical than Mr. William Shakespeare’s own loopy script. That’s good news.

Johnson’s spaceships, aliens, tinfoil hats among other bizarre costumes, zany sound and light effects combine with first-rate farcing from all hands to serve Willie’s original silliness quite well.

The interpolations undergird as they overlay, enhance as they satirize, do zero harm and frequently — as in a shadow play routine near the top of the show — clarify the needed but knotty back-story. The Comedy of Errors might be early, youthful Shakespeare, but it’s still Shakespeare, which means it’s about splendid language as much as farce. And here’s the true marvel of this CSC entertainment: For all its spaceships, flying nuns and gorillas (yes, there’s a gorilla) the language smiles through, intact, respected and as sweet and thrilling as it should be.

Thursday-Sunday through April 26. Read Tom McElfresh's review here.



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