A Comedy of Errors
Adapted and Directed by
Lesley and Robert Currier
With original songs by Leslie Harlib
This adaptation was one of our goofier ideas: set THE COMEDY OF ERRORS in Texas during the Wild West days, add original country and western songs, and call the whole thing A (emphasis on the word “A”) COMEDY OF ERRORS. Yee haw!
Local chanteuse and writer Leslie Harlib had written several hysterical spoofy songs for our Murder Mystery Dinners, and we knew she would be able to serve up some comic brilliance for this show. It was a pleasant challenge for Leslie, who had never written for the Shakespearean stage. Her wordplay and musicality added immensely to the fun.
Somehow, we found amazingly talented actors who not only played the lead roles, but also sang, danced, and formed an onstage band. Everyone square danced and line danced. We found some incredibly talented singers including Amanda Salazar, Elena Wright, Shirley Smallwood, Jessica Powell, Abby Sammons, Jeffrey Lloyd Heatherly and Kyle Stoner. And then we also asked them to make up the band! Glenn Havlan on guitar and base, Abby Sammons on keyboards, Kyle Stoner on just about anything you can play, and Jeffrey Lloyd Heatherly on sax and harmonica displayed amazing theatrical and musical talents.
The show was a bit of a love fest. Real life couple Patrick Russell and Elena Wright had a couple hilarious singing and dancing love scenes as Antipholus and Luciana. The touching reunion of Aegeon and his long-lost wife Aemelia gained depth as played by real life husband and wife Jack and Jessica Powell. And the entire mishmash was presided over by real life couple Lesley and Robert Currier.
And then there was the fabulous Jon Deline, making his debut on the Forest Meadows stage. Jon clowned, did rope tricks, and stole our hearts as the lovable Dromio – both of them – dressed as an All-American rodeo clown.
When Gary Grossman came up with his Mel Brooks-inspired Jewish-Native American Dr. Pinch, the comedy of this COMEDY was complete.
Live music on our stage is a challenge for a variety of acoustical reasons. But artistically, these incredibly talented theatre artists pulled off a dazzling display of talent and entertainment.
— Lesley Schisgall Currier
Antipholus – Patrick Russell*
Directors – Lesley Schisgall Currier and Robert Currier
Choreographier – Lesley Schisgall Currier
Musical Direction – Robert Currier and Lucas McClure
* Member of Actor’s Equity Association
Our second offering is one of the most popular and oft-produced Shakespeare works – with a new twist. Our original country-and-western music-filled adaptation, A Comedy of Errors, is set in Texas and delivered with a wink and a twang. We’ve reinterpreted, renewed and redoubled the fun in our fresh version of this classic farce. This is Shakespeare for anyone who thinks they might not like Shakespeare – and for anyone who wants to see a beloved classic from a new perspective.
Shakespeare probably wrote The Comedy of Errors not too long after seeing The Spanish Tragedy. Like Shakespeare’s first tragedy, Titus Andronicus, this early comedy displays the enthusiasm of a young man with something to prove. Just as Titus out-tragedies The Spanish Tragedy with its even gorier deaths and mutilations, in The Comedy of Errors Shakespeare out-Plautuses Plautus, using the inspiration of that Roman comedian’s work for his play, but adding a second set of twins who double the comic possibilities.
Having had the great pleasure of sharing this perpeturally popular piece with you, our audiences, twice over the past 23 years, we thought we’d rustle up some inspiration from Bill and add our own new layer of fun to this catty whompus tale of mixed-up brothers and lovelorn lasses, caught up in the wonder of some wild and wooly weirdness.
Having experimented in the past with adding music and topical references to some of our favorite Shakespeare comedies (and you liked it!), we now bring you this current mash-up of classic farce, country-and-western music, Texas longhorn mayhem, and – we hope – laughs thick as ticks on a hound dog.
It is with great enthusiasm that we invite you to this bucking bronco of a theatrical adventure. We hope it leaves you happy as a gopher in soft dirt. Yee-haw!
“‘Comedy’ is a bit country, a bit Bard….a pleasing comedy….Co-directed by the Curriers, the comedy in this ‘Errors’ is broad as a barn…the leads are strong…Jon Deline is hysterical as Dromio…There are plenty of songs in this version — some entertaining new ones by Leslie Harlib…”
Sam Hurwitt, Marin Independent Journal
“Theater: Separated at mirth. MSC acts broadly and carries a big schtick in ‘Comedy of Errors’….MSC’s A Comedy of Errors…a playful romp that kept audiences laughing… a multi-talented cast…Western style songs, some original (by Leslie Harlib), some portions of yesteryear’s country favorites, punctuate the nonstop action.”
Charles Brousse, Pacific Sun
“…supremely silly and surprisingly satisfying romp…If Shakespeare had written ‘Blazing Saddles,’ it might have come out something like ‘A Comedy of Errors’ at Marin Shakespeare Company in San Rafael.”
Robert Sokol, SF Examiner