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Review: THE COMEDY OF ERRORS at Gamut Theatre Group's Harrisburg Shakespeare Company

A delightful comedy of mistaken identities

By: Jun. 01, 2024
Review: THE COMEDY OF ERRORS at Gamut Theatre Group's Harrisburg Shakespeare Company  Image
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Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors was likely based on a story by Plautus. It is thought to have been performed for the first time in the late 1500s or early 1600s, and it has since been adapted numerous times. It is the story of two sets of twins (Antipholus of Ephesus/Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Ephesus/Dromio of Syracuse) who are separated in their infancy and unaware of one another’s existence. These twins unexpectedly end up in the same city—Ephesus. Hilarity ensues as folks in the town mistake them for one another until, in the end, the Antipholuses and Dromios meet face to face. The Comedy of Errors is presented at Reservoir Park by Gamut Theatre Group’s Harrisburg Shakespeare Company through June 15th. This delightful comedy, directed by Kelli Kauterman, is the perfect way to kick off the summer season.

It takes a village to bring a show like this to life at an outdoor venue. The production team, which includes Kelli Kauterman, Brianna Dow, Michael Bush, Jen Kilander, Victoria Wojciechowski, Mike Banks, Tristan Stasiulis, Margot Weiss, Christopher Wallen, Becky Arney, Clark Nicholson, Noah Smull, Quinn Starrett, and Melissa Nicholson work together to create a colorful, fast-paced, magical experience.

The cast doesn’t miss a beat. It is not easy to perform outside, surrounded by a host of distractions and noise, but this cast is fully engaged in their characters and the story, and they bring the audience along for the ride. The cast includes Clark Nicholson (Egeon), Daniel Hutchins (Duke of Solinus), Chris Ondeck (Officer/Balthasar), Amelia Chick (First and Second Merchant), Joe Regan (Angelo/Pinch), Liz Curtis (Luce/Courtesan), Samantha McCue (Emilia), Taylor Hargraves (Luciana), Maggie Haynes (Adriana), Jason Samarin (Antipholus of Syracuse), Diego Sandino (Antipholus of Ephesus), Dom Hernandez (Dromio of Syracuse), and Joel Colvin (Dromio of Ephesus).

The cast interacts beautifully, playing off one another to highlight the slapstick comedy of the script. While it is occasionally difficult to catch all of the lines because an actor spoke to quickly or did not enunciate well enough for the outdoor venue, the audience can still catch the idea of the scene from their facial expressions and gestures. Some of this reviewer’s favorite performances of the evening are Amelia Chick as the Second Merchant, Liz Curtis as the Courtesan, and Joe Regan as Angelo. In the midst of these wonderful performances, one of the most astonishing feats is the way in which the two sets of twins (played by Jason Samarin, Diego Sandino, Dom Hernandez, and Joel Colvin) act their characters so that they really are difficult to separate from one another. Until the audience sees them on stage together, the only obvious differences are the subtle differences in costuming. They run the same, move the same, and use similar facial expressions and tones of voice. These actors and director Kelli Kauterman deserve a round of applause for the careful attention to detail that went into crafting these characters.

The Comedy of Errors is delightfully funny and superbly acted! Do not miss the 31st annual Shakespeare in the Park production from Gamut. No need for tickets, as the performances are free!



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