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THEATER REVIEW: Shakespeare's “The Comedy Of Errors” is told as '50s sitcom

Shakespeare as a TV sitcom? Well, why not?

“The Comedy Of Errors” is, after all, one of the Bard’s earliest, absolutely the shortest and arguably the silliest of his creations, the sort of thing (minus his great, poetic language) you can see any day of the week on the big screen or small screen.

New Village Arts Theatre presents “The Comedy Of Errors” through March 4. Justin Lang directs this exercise in slapstick.

Picture a TV studio in Hollywood in the early ’50s. Makeup people wander onset to powder noses, actors chitchat until the stage manager (Dana Case) announces the five-second mark and voilà! they’re taping.

The inconsequential plot turns on two sets of twins and a shipwreck that separates them from parents and each other. The Dromio twins (Adam Brick and Kyle Lucy) are servants of the Antipholus twins (Max Macke and John DeCarlo), one set ending up in Syracuse and the other in Ephesus.

By happenstance, they not only end up in Syracuse at the same time, but one Antipholus meets the other’s Dromio, the wife of one Antipholus (Kristianne Kurner) can’t tell him from his twin, and of course both servants get blamed for everything and bopped around by everybody.

Oh, and old dad Egeon (Jack Missett) just happens to be in town as well, and needs to raise bail for daring to enter Syracuse, the penalty for which is money or death.

And oh, yes, there’s a courtesan (Frances Regal) vamping around, doing what courtesans do.

Don’t even ask. I told you it’s silly.

Lang keeps the pace moving, Kurner and Amanda Sitton (who also plays an Antipholus sister-in-law) have created fine ’50s costumes, everybody gets into the proper goofy frame of mind, and it all goes by in a trice, leaving the audience with a smile.

Yes, it’s much ado about nothing, but it’s the Bard’s nonsense and how can that be bad in these equally absurd but much more serious times?

The details

“The Comedy Of Errors” plays through March 4 at New Village Arts Theatre, 2676 State St., Carlsbad.

Thursday through Saturday at 8 pm; matinees Saturday at 3 and Sunday at 2 pm.

For tickets, call (760) 433-3245 or visit HERE.

To read more reviews by SDGLN Theater Critic Jean Lowerison, click HERE.