The Mobile Unit presents a free production of 'Comedy of Errors,' Shakespeare's comedy about two sets of twins mistaken for each other. Performed at community venues and in a "sit-down" performance at The Public Theater. More…
Mistaken identity leads to delightful mayhem in the Bard’s classic play about two sets of twins separated by stormy seas. When one pair dares to trespass into a foreign city to find the other, the comedy of errors begins and the long-lost brothers must overcome wrongful imprisonment, angry wives and hilarious confusion on their journey to a joyful reunion. The Public’s Mobile Unit is a reinvention of Joseph Papp’s Mobile Shakespeare based on the idea that Shakespeare belongs to everyone. The Mobile Unit presents free Shakespeare to prisons, homeless shelters, centers for the elderly, and other community venues throughout the five boroughs.
"Contemporary flourishes are never allowed to obstruct the unimpeded forward movement of a comedy built for speed, or the larger theme of identities lost and found…The bawdy puns, the elaborate explication of intricate back stories: These familiar staples of any 'Comedy of Errors' are rendered here with clarifying physical and musical annotations. What’s more surprising is how moving the production becomes when the play’s titular errors begin to correct themselves." Full Review
"What distinguishes this production most of all is the outsized enthusiasm of the seven-member cast…Together, the actors make it their mission to engage as many individual members of the audience as they can…This must have gone over great in the prisons and shelters full of ignored and neglected people. At the Public itself, with its sophisticated theater-going crowd, it goes over great as well." Full Review
"I was struck with the notion of sending this slender company to Oregon where the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has commissioned thirty-six playwrights to translate Shakespeare’s plays into modern English. No need; these guys have nailed it. Nothing’s lost in translation here…The thing is, this is fun. It is lively and joyous. It is one of those uncommon experiences in theater when the joke is absurd and we are all delighted to be in on the joke. Just go." Full Review
"The Dromios (played to both great comic effect by Lucas Caleb Rooney) and the Antipholi (Bernardo Cubría) are indicated by different hat styles (one rancher, one baseball cap) and feature vastly different personalities. The two twins do a remarkable job, especially at the climax, of jumping back and forth between the characters by holding a hat over an empty space and speaking directly to it." Full Review
"While the entire cast is marvelous and hysterical, these leading men really stand out and are commendable for their portrayals of the twins... When faced with a Shakespeare show most worry over the long hours they are about to endure, but there is no need to worry here: Running at 90 minutes with no intermission and constantly filled with infectious energy and fun the show breezes by- You can’t help but have a smile on your face for the entire hour and half." Full Review
"Simultaneously urgent and irreverent new production…Under Kwei-Armah's limber and unpretentious direction, the contrivance of the plot really works…By setting 'The Comedy of Errors' on the U.S.-Mexican border, Kwei-Armah brings the themes of this 421-year-old play into stark relief: political boundaries and regional disparity are still with us." Full Review
"'Comedy of Errors' is an indestructible dramatic vehicle...Though this scaled-down production is less ambitious than the Public's 'Comedy' in Central Park in 2013, it shares the same buoyancy of that al fresco outing.The acting here is sassy and smart...What makes this production hum beyond the able acting, is the swimmingly good direction. Kwame Kwei-Armah does wonders with the recognition scene of Act 5." Full Review
"This is a production that, like the play itself, just wants to have fun, and actually couldn't care less about the world outside its crazy boundaries.…There's not much in the way of deep feelings afoot, but the stakes are high enough that you (like the characters) remain invested…Aside from the immigration concept, director Kwame Kwei-Armah applies at best a light imprint that emphasizes the improbable, even improvisatory, nature of the whole thing." Full Review
"Director Kwame Kwei-Armah creates a fantastical, free-wheeling, free-falling, unpretentious chain reaction wind-up production full of delight and delirium. However, the British playwright-director rarely allows the actors to truly milk some of the more beautiful and languid of monologues; it also doesn't help that the three hour epic was sliced-and-diced in half...Full of verve and vision, 'The Comedy of Errors' is not only a laughing matter, it insists on having the last laugh." Full Review
See it if you support The Public's outreach initiatives and want to see a relatable, streamlined Shakespearean farce that will keep you laughing.
Don't see it if you want a robust production with period costumes and elaborate sets. This one is meant to be portable and play in non-traditional venues.
See it if Shakespeare's most famous and most physical comedy gets a workout with 90+ degree summer temps. ANY production of this farce is worth a look
Don't see it if Skip if U find "physical comedy" boring. Convoluted story-line may be hard to follow for 1st-timers so if U aren't into reading it then skip
See it if you enjoy Shakespeare, comedy or both. There's a lot of things happening so you need to be attentive to the different storylines.
Don't see it if you have a hard time following different storylines and/or Shakespearian language.
See it if You like plays that have an interesting story that needs a little bit of attention to follow.
Don't see it if You are confused by Shakespeare, or don't pay attention in plays.
See it if You love Shakespeare, comedy, theatrical imagination and community
Don't see it if You hate language, updated Shakespeare, are precious about language, or need super clear plotting
See it if you enjoy relatable and accessible Shakespeare; being close to the action; small casts playing many characters; strong stagecraft.
Don't see it if you need to have a simple plot laid out before you; you need to have the house lights down (these aren't, to mimic their tour facilities).
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