By Kris Vire
Perhaps it’s stating the obvious at this point to say that Graney’s production of The Comedy of Errors isn’t for purists. This is the same director, after all, who’s put such classics as Oedipus and Frankenstein through his conceptual Cuisinart in recent years as artistic director of the Hypocrites. But his work at Court thus far has shown (a tad) more restraint. Sure, he found space in 2008’s What the Butler Saw for an out-of-the-blue Furrie invasion and he bypassed our suspension of disbelief by bringing the backstage crew of dressers out front in last year’s Irma Vep, but he largely showed fidelity to those two scripts.
Given the combination of free rein over the public-domain Bard and freely availing himself of Court’s big-spender budget, it’s safe to say Graney’s gone to town, and to deliriously funny effect. His one-act distillation of Shakespeare’s winning, twinning comedy of mistaken identity employs six actors and Vep’s quick-change expertise to enhance the ridiculousness of Comedy’s plot, but also to bring out its darker aspects. Antipholus of Ephesus (Erik Hellman) arrives in Syracuse in search of his lost twin (Hellman again) to find he’s known here as kind of a no-goodnik douche; his servant, Dromio (Alex Goodrich), is similarly surprised to find himself greeted as his own, more downtrodden brother. Smashingly game Court regular Elizabeth Ledo, who always seems energized by the untraditional, joins Hypocrites Stacy Stoltz, Kurt Ehrmann and Steve Wilson to fill out the cast of jokers. Make no mistake: This Errors is unerringly on purpose.