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Chicago Shakespeare Theater Stages The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy Of ErrorsChicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) concludes its 21st Season with The Comedy of Errors staged by CST Artistic Director Barbara Gaines, whose collaboration with Second City veteran Ron West brings an additional comedic twist to the production. Set in 1940, during the golden age of film, Shakespeare’s comedic classic unfolds as an eccentric group of stage and screen actors gather on an English movie set during World War II in the midst of the London blitz to film the play. Performed in Chicago Shakespeare’s Courtyard Theater, The Comedy of Errors begins previews Sunday, April 27, 2008 and runs through Sunday, June 29, 2008.

Chicago Shakespeare Artistic Director Barbara Gaines stages The Comedy of Errors for the first time in her distinguished career. Collaborating with Ron West, Gaines’ production sets Shakespeare’s earliest comedy - in which Antipholus and his servant Dromio land in Ephesus searching for their long-lost twin brother - as a play-within-a play in which an eccentric group of stage and screen actors gather on an English movie set in the midst of the London blitz to film The Comedy of Errors as a gift to the troops in war-torn Europe. Set in the golden age of film, the cast is populated with a mélange of glamorous movie stars and theatrical characters - each performing a role in The Comedy of Errors.  Backstage antics abound as the onstage story of Antipholus and his servant Dromio unfolds and mistaken identities make for hilarious complications as the two men search for their identical twins lost since infancy. Comedic chaos gives way to clarity and a baffling day on the set makes for a joyous conclusion to The Comedy of Errors.

"This has been a project I’ve wanted to work on for many years," says director Gaines, "and this season it finally comes to fruition. Ron West is a tremendous talent and together we’ve developed a script in which Shakespeare’s play is fully realized within a theatrical context that further compounds the chaos and humor of The Comedy of Errors."

Barbara Gaines, Founder and Artistic Director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater, has directed more than 30 of William Shakespeare’s plays throughout her career. Her work has been honored with several Jeff Awards for Best Production and Best Director.  In partnership with Executive Director Criss Henderson, Gaines has broadened the Theater’s artistic palate to encompass—alongside Shakespeare’s canon—theatrical presentations for students and families, musicals and collaborations with international theater artists.  In 2005, Gaines was awarded the prestigious Honorary OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in recognition of her contributions strengthening British-American cultural relations and in 2007 the Public Humanities Award by the Illinois Humanities Council.

Collaborating with Barbara Gaines is the talented writer/director/actor Ron West (The Second City’s Romeo and Juliet Musical: The People vs. Friar Laurence, The Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet, at CST in 2005). West began his acting career with the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland, OH. He has also been seen on both the silver screen and television, most notably in recurring roles on 3rd Rock from the Sun and Malcolm in the Middle. He received the Joseph Jefferson Award for directing Curious George Goes to War (The Second City e.t.c.).

Tickets are $44-70 and can be purchased by calling Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312-595-5600 or by visiting the Theater’s website at

Half price tickets are also available for this show.

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