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For these two Dromios, no chance for a Mensa membership, but they have a great sense of comic timing

Programming note: The following talk show was filmed before the cancellation on Wednesday of all remaining performances of “The Comedy of Errors” at Fresno State because of a Covid-19 outbreak among the cast. The production was scheduled to run through Saturday, Dec. 10. We are broadcasting the following episode for those who weren’t lucky enough to see the first weekend’s performances.

 

ANNOUNCER: We’re here this evening with Mitch and Twitch for another episode of “Twin Talk,” the show that dives into the lives of famous siblings who share the same amniotic fluid. And now, your hosts, Mitch and Twitch!

MITCH: Welcome to the show. On tonight’s episode we have a pair of very special guests – two of the most famous twins ever created by Shakespeare. And they’re here with us, live and in studio, representing a new production of the classic play “The Comedy of Errors” at Fresno State.

TWITCH: They’re goofy. They’re bumbling. They fall down a lot. Best of all, they aren’t very bright, which isn’t an insult, because Shakespeare wrote them that way! Let’s welcome Dromio of Ephesus and Dromio of Syracuse.

Dromio of Ephesus (played by Luke Nothstein) and Dromio of Syracuse (played by Dillon Morgan) enter to wild applause. They wear identical suits by Ermenegildo Zegna and shoes by Louis Vuitton. On stage they might be dressed in suspenders and argyle knee socks, but on the talk-show circuit, the Duke provides them with a hefty clothing allowance. They settle into comfy chairs.

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MITCH: Thanks for being here, gentlemen.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS (in a thick Brooklyn accent): Hey, I do youse a favor, youse do me a favor. You know what I mean?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE (in a thick Southern drawl): Howdy, y’all!

TWITCH: I thought you both might have said, “Buongiorno.”

DROMIO OF EPHESUS: Nah. We’ve got this local boss, you see, a very influential person, if you know what I mean, by the name of Mr. Myers, and he sort of runs our whole world, right down to the way we talk.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: I reckon Master Brad thought it’d be fun to have us come from very different backgrounds, and he was a fixin’ to come up with a good way to let the audience know that, even the ones who are dumber than a tree stump in a Louisiana swamp.

Fresno State University Theatre

From left, Dillon Morgan, Tyler Murphy, Jared C. Serpa and Luke Nothstein play two sets of identical twins.

TWITCH: We saw the show over the weekend and thought it was a hoot! I love the setting of 1930s Miami – sort of a Greco-Cuban style mixed with Art Deco – and the colorful costumes. You two are definitely standouts. I love that there are not one but two sets of twins, which pretty much puts “The Comedy of Errors” in the Doublemint Hall of Fame.

MITCH: Just to catch folks up at home, the idea is that you’re both indentured servants who each happen to work for a master who is also an identical twin, right? Tell us about your bosses.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: Mine is named Antipholus, and he’s an amiable soul, perhaps a little scatter-brained, but definitely a nice guy. Most of the time he’s as happy as a clam at high tide. He also tends to fall in love a lot.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS: And mine is named Antiopholus, except he’s not as nice.

TWITCH: In what way?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS: You know, the usual stuff – drinking too much, cheating on his wife, running numbers, racketeering. You know what I mean. He ain’t the Godfather, but I’d avoid pissing him off.

MITCH: I also really like Tyler Murphy and Jared C. Serpa, who play your bosses. It’s great how there’s such a contrast between their personalities.

TWITCH: Speaking of which, you two are quite different as well.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS: I wouldn’t say that, but we do come from different backgrounds. I’m more quick-thinking. I’m a fighter. I have to be. My master hits me a lot.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: When I get beaten by my master, I want to cry. But then I realize he doesn’t really mean it. Also, I think I might like the spanking part.

TWITCH: So, if Dromio of Syracuse is a tough guy from Brooklyn, then what are you, Dromio of Ephesus?

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: Just call me a Southern Belle. I’m more innocent. I’m nice. I’m a people pleaser. I’m a virgin.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS: That you are, bro.


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DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: Well, don’t blame me if you have a lady co-worker who uses you as a sex toy. And, also, is as big as an entire planet, according to Shakespeare, though he’s definitely a fat-shamer.

Dromio of Ephesus yelps and pounces on Dromio of Syracuse, making a small tear in his brother’s $9,000 suit. They roll around on the studio floor until they’re exhausted. Then both grin, sit up and take their seats.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: Well, that was a catawampus.

MITCH: I’m so confused.

TWITCH: Was that for real? Or was it a routine done in character to promote the play?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS: Or was it all an elaborate homage to Shakespeare’s use of physical pratfalls and mistaken identities to find the comedy in “Comedy of Errors”?

MITCH: All right, let’s get back on track. I notice some small variations in your physical mannerisms in the production. D of E, for example, you fold your arms a lot, while you, D of S, tend to put your hands behind your back. What gives?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS: I’m ready to pounce.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: I like to keep things tidy.

TWITCH: What’s your favorite food?

DROMIO OF EPHESUS: I’m gonna say pot pie. And maybe a hot dog from Nathan’s.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: Mine’s toast!

TWITCH: Can I tell you more about why I like the show? The scenic design, by Mitchel Statler, is slick. So is Kelly Pantzlaff-Curry’s costume design. And I’m really taken with the direction of the show and the textual work by the actors. Plus, there is some really nice acting. There are roles played by community members that I think are stellar, including Randy Kohlruss as Egeon and Dr. Pinch, Marikah Christine Leal as Adriana and Tracy Hostmyer as Emelia. And I was mightily impressed with Grant Hill in a smaller role. He plays Angelo, the goldsmith, and I found myself watching him even when he wasn’t speaking or part of the action, just because he so thoroughly inhabits his character.

MITCH: What are you trying to do, Twitch? Be a theater critic?

TWITCH: Nah. Momentary relapse. I’ll stick with interviewing twins.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: I shore appreciate your comments, Mr. Twitch.

DROMIO OF EPHESUS: Yep. Good stuff.

TWITCH: It’s time for a commercial break. Next up on “Twin Talk”: Viola and Sebastian from “Twelfth Night.”

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: Wait a second! Twins can be a boy and a girl? Who knew?

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

Comments (2)

  • Steph

    Aw no. Covid takes another set of performances.

    Such a terrible blow for everyone involved. FSU loses revenue, family members who were waiting to see the show lose, and of course the actor miss out on the rest of the run. That really stings in an educational setting. Every new performance is more “real world” practice, including for the stage manager(s), tech crew, props, light and sound ops, etc.

    And in this show the students got to work with and learn from some veteran actors. Every new performance allows for more exposure to these talents.

    The worst part was believing and hoping this stuff was over with.

    As a world audience member, I say “Boooooo Covid BOOOOO!!”

    reply
  • Jackie Ryle

    I enjoyed the review. So sorry to hear of the closure. I missed seeing this one. The virus is still very much with us and we keep being reminded. Thank you for keeping us updated

    reply

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