Regional Reviews: Albuquerque/Santa Fe
The Comedy of Errors
Anyone who has seen outdoor Shakespeare before knows that a major challenge for the cast is commanding and filling such a vast space. It is baffling how elegantly this cast accomplishes such a challenging feat. Perhaps it is because every single member of the cast enjoys every single line and every single movement they create together. What is particularly delightful is that the actors revel in the playfulness of their rolesand there is nothing more critical to comedy. The high level of talent is palpable.
In particular, performances by Martin Andrews (Dromio of Syracuse), Pip Lustgarten (Adriana), and Ed Chavez (Dromio of Ephesus) deserve mentioning. Mr. Andrews and Mr. Chavez do a delightful job with their physical comedy and resist the temptation to overplay their gags. Their final scene together will remain in my heart and mind for many years to come. Additionally, Ms. Lustgarten maintains a high amount of energy from start to finish and is a powerful force on stage. As Adriana, her talent is actualized and she is a fine choice for such a demanding role.
It is often the case in Albuquerque that an ensemble fails to live up to the talent of the leads. This is not case for Elkins' The Comedy of Errors. Each part is well done and filled by actors who have clear understanding of the text. Hats off to Elkins' for his casting and a round of applause for Martin Andrews (Artistic Director) for bringing Elkins to Shakespeare on the Plaza.
There is one point of criticism worth mentioning, but it should be prefaced by an understanding of the limitations of outdoor repertory theatre. The set itself, in terms of aesthetics, is better suited for Macbeth than it is for The Comedy of Errors. Although the physical space is well used by the production, more could have been done to adapt the repertory set to match the beauty found in the props and costumes. That aside, it would be a mistake not to see this show. It is by far one of the best productions that Albuquerque has seen in recent memory and I look forward to seeing it again. Congratulations to the cast, crew, and artistic staff.
The Comedy of Errors will be presented in repertory with Macbeth on Albuquerque's Civic Plaza. Shakespeare on the Plaza is free for all. For more information go to www.newmexicoshakespeare.org.