I’m not a big fan of fun. I don’t like the word. It sounds uninteresting and not at all like what happens when I am laughing so hard that I am either snorting food out of my nose or crying. But it is the only word I can think of in this case.
So, if you want to go to a show that is fun from start to finish – during both of which people are swing dancing – then get your butt over to the Delacorte. We are being blessed with extraordinary farm days that are dry and sunny. It is the perfect reason to stretch out on the grass with a good book. Wait for your friends to get off work, get your tickets and have a picnic. And AFTER all that you get to watch Shakespeare that is beautifully executed and seriously funny.
Even Chuck Schumer liked it.
Led by the always excellent Hamish Linklater (Antipholus of Syracuse/Antipholus of Ephesus) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Dromio of Syracuse/Dromio of Ephesus) who is as good on stage as he is on camera – these people are having a wild romp that will tickle your funny bone and satisfy every theatre sensibility you possess.
Two sets of twins are separated at birth – with the accompanying tale of woe – and are about to be reunited. One set of master and servant are highbrow (Syracuse Gents) and the other is low (Ephesians). The Syracuse duo has come to Ephesus to find their respective twins. In doing so they set off a chain reaction of mistaken identities that grows exponentially. They get mistaken for one another by the townsfolk. They even mistake one another when the duos get rejoined but mismatched.
Daniel Sullivan has dropped these characters into the 1940’s, complete with the music, the dance and the swell styles. Add pitch perfect performances all around – especially Emily Bergl (Adriana) and Heidi Schreck (Luciana) – and throw in six fabulous swing dancers and VOILA!!! The pacing is quick, and the jokes come about once every five minutes. The set by John Lee Beatty is the perfect tool for sleight of hand entrances and exits. The show snowballs into a giant collection of, well, I hate to say it – F-U-N. And it is all presented in one act running 90 minutes.
There are few things as pure and graceful as a night at the Delacorte. And when the production is not bested by the surroundings, it is sublime.
Get thee thither!!
"By the time the gun-toting nuns make an appearance, you may find that you’re out of belly laughs. Rally those abs, if possible, because there is more fun to come in the brisk (90 minutes!) and buoyant production."
Charles Isherwood for New York Times
"Though it never quite tips into hilarious territory, it’s a fun 90-minute diversion."
Joe Dziemianowicz for New York Daily News
"The show is overeager to please. And so, instead of blooming into a joyful chaos, the farce tends to fizzle."
Elisabeth Vincentelli for New York Post
"Raffishly funny. ... The formula has come down to: Sullivan + Shakespeare + Central Park = great time."
Robert Feldberg for The Record
"Scores a direct hit on the funny bone."
Roma Torre for NY1
"An ideal summer night’s entertainment."
David Rooney for The Hollywood Reporter
"Linklater and Ferguson show off skills in madcap production of Shakespeare's farce."
Marilyn Stasio for Variety
External links to full reviews from popular press...