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Interrupted review: ‘Comedy of Errors’ shows promise at Woodward Park

Woodward Shakespeare Festival

There was electricity in the air at Thursday evening’s performance of “The Comedy of Errors” at Woodward Shakespeare Festival.

Literally.

As the play started, we could see the crackle of lightning on the horizon. It came closer. The stage manager started to scurry around packing up sensitive electronic equipment. By the time the show was called for weather, about half an hour into the performance, the sky was lighting up ever more frequently and the wind gusting at a level more appropriate for the entrance of the witches in “Macbeth.”

I didn’t see enough of the show to write a real review — and, unfortunately, I was booked for the remaining two performances of the production this weekend — but I can tell you that director Ellicia Elliott has a knack for staging comedy. She fashions the show with a vaudevillian theme, which seems like a good concept for a slapstick-inspired storyline involving two sets of separated-at-birth twins, mistaken identities and even a false accusation of demonic possession.


Related story: For Woodward Shakespeare’s ‘Comedy of Errors,’ an earlier start to the season and a new face as a director

While the introductory scene on Thursday felt a little sluggish, the comic action was definitely picking up Thursday evening as the lightning got closer. I could tell that the two sets of twins (Patrick Wall and Rene Ponce as the Antipholuses of Ephesus and Syracuse, respectively, and Gabriel Biswas and Katie Osle, as the Dromios of Ephesus and Syracuse, respectively), had some big laughs ahead of them.

Laura Dodds, as Adriana, was quite funny in her brief time on stage. Plus: I’m forever grateful for getting to see the “stunt Dromio” crash test dummy in service as a door battering ram. No Dromios were harmed in the making of this production, and that’s always a good thing.

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Looking for a full review of “The Comedy of Errors”? Here’s Terrance McArthur’s review in Kings River Life.


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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com

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