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  The Comedy of Errors at Court Theatre

The Comedy of Errors

Court Theatre
5535 S. Ellis Avenue Chicago

nnovative director Sean Graney (The Hypocrites) re-imagines Shakespeare’s funniest farce about mistaken identity, mental illness, and xenophobia. The story of two sets of twins separated at birth, The Comedy of Errors will be a theatrical event full of energetic slapstick and lyrical comedy, performed by six virtuosic actors. This season opener represents the next step in Graney’s exploration of classic farce at Court Theatre, following What the Butler Saw (2007) and The Mystery of Irma Vep (2009).

Thru - Oct 17, 2010

Wednesdays: 7:30pm
Thursdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 3:00pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 2:30pm & 7:30pm

Price: $32-$56

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 773-753-4472

Running Time: 1hr 30mins

Court Theatre Seating Chart

  The Comedy of Errors Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...The pace is breakneck indeed, the tone a savvy mix of the outrageous and the sardonic, and the comedy exquisitely timed. But the real pleasures here come from the level of physical invention — Jacqueline Firkins' spectacular costumes are like an entire parade of silly attire, stuffing, pads and all. I watched one initially tight-lipped sourpuss in the front row Saturday night get completely won over by the amusements on view. Her initial resistance was turned into rubble. Good for the show."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Graney's 90-minute take on this early Shakespearean comedy is neither as clear nor as linguistically clever as the hip-hop version, "Bombitty of Errors," seen (with Ledo in a crucial role) at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater a few seasons back. And his attempt to inject some darker notes into the play (notably about how financial woes can trigger xenophobia) don't really pan out. But there is a wacky energy here as the virtuosic actors run themselves ragged with great aplomb and engage in the sort of improvisatory wizardry that is a Chicago hallmark."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"... Purists may cavil at Graney's wholesale deconstruction of the text, but the cast pull off the hijinks with generous high spirits and precision. "This could be fun. Where is this going?" asks one of the twins early on. The answer is round and round--and I enjoyed every dizzyingly ludicrous moment."
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Kerry Reid

Examiner - Highly Recommended

"...Graney’s casting guarantees a show of manic energy. He’s cast one actor as both Antipholi (Erik Hellman) and one actor as both Dromios (Alex Goodrich). The two turn in frantically inspired performances that heighten the comedy all the more because each twin is so clearly not the other. Dromio of Syracuse, for example, dresses like Jeeves while Dromio of Ephesus dresses like an elf moonlighting as a crew member on a gay Disney cruise ship."
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Catey Sullivan

Copley News Service - Recommended

"...        The reduction of the cast to six performers does work pretty well, in spite of the storyline that revolves around two sets of identical twins. At the Court the Dromio twins and the Antipholus twins are each played by a single actor, which means much split second timing in entrances and exits and speed-of-light costume changes back stage."

Dan Zeff

Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"...With only six characters playing 20 roles, the Court Theater's "Comedy of Errors" feels like a magic show: You want to know how it works, and you never quite figure it out. How are they doing those split-second costume changes? How are they exiting there and then entering here in what feels like no time? Half the laughs come from delighted astonishment as the acrobatic, energetic cast members transform themselves again and again."

Laura Kolb

Chicago Stage Review - Highly Recommended

"...For all of the fun, and there is al lot, the most extraordinary aspect of the production is the performance of Alex Goodrich. Goodrich is a rare and wonderful master of comedy. He moves effortlessly from the physically funny to the cerebrally silly. He is a self-effacing genius that can play as large as an explosion or as small as a church mouse, always gleaning every morsel of humor from every scene. He is directly engaging, able to connect the joke to each and every audience member as if he is interacting with him or her personally. Goodrich is infinitely endearing, beguilingly funny and simply charming. It is all too easy to get drawn into his irreverent idiosyncrasies and absolutely impossible not to fall in love with his brilliant antics."
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Venus Zarris

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"... 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."
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Kris Vire

Chicago Stage Standard - Somewhat Recommended

"...But Sean Graney, who staged Court’s nimble and hilarious “Mystery of Irma Vep,” thrives on challenges, even if they bite him back.  It’s his intention, according to the program notes, to suggest the psychological dislocation of the displaced twins as they meet a hostile reception on this foreign shore.  The fact that they’re constantly recognized for people they’re not could, of course, trigger madness as much as frivolity.  Graney wants it both ways—for this comic confusion to be crazy and silly too—but, alas, it’s never enough of either."

Lawrence Bommer

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Graney, as a guest director, has chosen to do Shakespeare in a whole new manner. Partly because he feels that this will expose the sub-plot of what “The Bard” was really trying to say. Are we who we think we are? Are we in fact who others think we are? But of greater importance, he doesn’t want to do the play as others have done, he wants the audience to have fun, and unless you are a prude, you will have fun as we see each actor take on many roles, many of them spoofing the social issues that Shakespeare was expressing. It is sort of like Shakespeare as done by the Three Stooges or Abbott and Costello meets Shakespeare. Graneyhas captured the heart and soul of what Shakespeare has written in a fast paced energetic slapstick comedy that is roughly 85 minutes with no intermission. That is to say 85 minutes of hilarity where the audience can forget all of the problems of our world today and just have fun. Let’s face it, we go to the theater to be entertained and Graney and his superb cast get the job done."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Somewhat Recommended

"...As the play becomes more and more absurd, it becomes obvious that the story is just a launching pad for an endless barrage of meta-theatrical gags. By the end it feels like there are no stakes at all, and while it is fun to be along for the ride, there’s still a huge emotional connection missing. Granted, when the ride is Kurt Ehrmann in drag recounting his days at the mall getting his ears pierced, it’s worth it."

Oliver Sava

  The Comedy of Errors Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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