For the second summer production of the 2012 summer touring season, Hudson Shakespeare returns to Shakespeare's most screwball comedy - The Comedy of Errors. Set in a 1940's homage to Looney Tunes cartoons. Based on an ancient Roman story by the comic playwright Plautus, Shakespeare takes the story of one mistaken twin and adds a second. In the everywhere city of Ephesus, an sourful old merchant is sentence to death by the local Duke for being an unfriendly foreigner. The Duke taking pity on the old man listens to his story of how he came to Ephesus. The old man recounts a story of having twin sons and twin servants, one pair lost during a storm and how he has been searching for them. The other twin son and servant show up in Ephesus, unaware of his father's plight, and continues the search for his long lost brother. In Ephesus, he and his servant are hysterically mistaken for their brothers who are in residence in the city. What follows is a Shakespeare classic in mistaken identity and the basis for modern farcical sitcoms.
Ephesus and Syracuse are at odds. Any Syracusan found in Ephesus will be executed unless he can pay a ransom of a thousand marks. Egeon, an old Syracusan merchant, has been arrested. He explains how he has come to Ephesus: he and his wife Emilia had identical twin sons and identical twin slaves, purchased for the purpose of serving the sons. In a shipwreck many years ago, he was separated from his wife, one son and one slave.
The survivors are renamed in memory of the lost ones: Antipholus for the son and Dromio for the slave. Once grown to manhood, Antipholus of Syracuse, with his Dromio, had set off in search of his brother and mother. Egeon is now in search of them. The Duke gives him until evening to find the ransom money. By chance Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse have also just arrived in Ephesus. The other Antipholus and Dromio have been living there since the wreck. And so the comedy of errors ensues.
The locals constantly mistake the visiting twins for the natives – even Antipholus of Ephesus' wife Adriana and her sister Luciana are fooled. The confusions result in Antipholus of Ephesus being arrested for debt and declared mad, while Antipholus of Syracuse take refuge from his brother's angry wife in a Priory – where the abbess turns out to be Egeon's long-lost wife. All is resolved and Egeon is freed.
Top, Antipholus of Ephesus (Michael Rehse) and Antipholus of Syracuse (Rich Wisneski)
Bottom, Dromio of Syracuse (Melissa Meli) and Dromio of Ephesus (Laura Mae Baker)
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Opening scene of the play where the arrested Aegeus (Tom Cox) recounts the story to the Duke (Eddy Cara) and citizens of Ephesus of the separation of his new born sons and servants. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
A merchant of Ephesus (Sharon Cacciabaudo) instructs the recently arrived Antipholus of Syracuse (Michael Rehse) and Dromio of Syracuse (Melissa Meli) on keeping clear of the authorities lest their good be taken and they imprisoned. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
Antipholus of Syracuse (Michael Rehese) instructs his servant to go obtain gold from their hotel and instead is met by her twin Dromio of Ephesus (Laura Mae Baker) who has no knowledge of this gold retrieval. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
A distraught Dromio of Ephesus (Laura Mae Baker) goes back home to tell to Antipholus of Ephesus' wife Adriana (Vanessa Wendt) and her sister Luciana (Chelsea Rowe) about his crasy behavior. Andriana doesn't take this news very well. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
Adriana (Vanessa Wendt) takes matters and Antipholus of Syracuse (Michael Rehse) into her own hands and drags him back home thinking its her own husband. Along with Dromio of Syracuse (Melissa Meli). Lovell Room, Stratford Library, Stratford, CT.
Antipholus of Ephesus (Rich Wisneski) arrives at home with his drinking buddies Angela (Stacy D'Arc), the goldsmith, and Balthazar (Julie Robles) to have dinner at his house and he finds the door locked. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
Antipholus of Syracuse (Melissa Meli) keeps the door barred against what she thinks are disruptive thugs despite her twin's Antipholus of Ephesus' (Laura Mae Baker) "best" efforts to open the door. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
Antipholus of Syracuse (Michael Rehse) takes an "interest' in the Luciana (Chelsea Rowe) that Adriana might not approve of. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
Angela (Stacy D'Arc), the goldsmith arrives with a gold chain that Antipolus of Ephesus ordered but mistakenly gives it to Antipolus of Syracuse. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
A Courtezan (Julie Robles) who Antipholus of Ephesus has been having an affair with arrives to retrieve a ring that he took but instead runs into dumbstruck Antipholus of Syracuse (Michael Rehese). Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
Antipholus of Ephesus (Rich Wisneski) is arrested by the officer (David Rosenberg) for non payment of the gold chain and he sends Dromio of Syracuse to get money to pay bail but instead runs into Dromio of Ephesus (Laura Mae Baker) who had been sent on another errand to get a rope. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
After a crazy chase where Antipholus and Dromio are captured and then appear to have escaped, the Syracusian duo run and take sanctuary in a nunnary. Here, the Abbess (Sharon Cacciabaudo) refuses entrance to the building to Adriana (Vanessa Wendt) and Luciana (Chelsea Rowe). Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
Antipholus of Ephesus (Rich Wisneski), along with his Dromio escape their harrowing captivity and run to the Duke (Eddy Cara) to be for justice against his wife. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
At the climax of the show both sets of Antipholus and Dromios meet up in front of their accusers and family and their confusion is all sorted out. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
The two Dromios (Laura Mae Baker) and (Melissa Meli) attempt to retire into the house but run into the walls and are knocked out. The officer appears from behind the curtain and bids a "That's All Folks" to the audience. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ