By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
Two words: Nun. Chucks. Nun-Chucks.
Also: feathered hats. Bright costumes. Double twins. Hilarious bondsmen.
Or woman, depending.
Alyssa Bradac’s direction of “The Comedy of Errors” set during Mardi Gras is inspired (literally), well-timed and hilarious in its staging by Shakespeare Orange County at the Festival Amphitheatre in Garden Grove.
From a “sub-nun” wielding holy nun-chucks, to a servant literally being bowled over to escape the devil, to a witch doctor who is most likely drunk on his own potions, Bradac brought this early Shakespeare play to life.
“The Comedy” is one of Shakespeare’s early works, a farce, and is a case of double mistaken identity, long lost family and mayhem.
Anika Habermas-Scher and Joshua Snyder, each of whom plays twin characters named Dromio, [separated at birth] were physical comedy scene-stealers.
Each employed silliness, goofy facial expressions and flailing arms as mirrors of each other.
Although alike in portrayal at parts, their differences [ aside from the obvious] is what made them each fun to watch. Snyder made his character the more smug of the two, ready to stand on a soapbox at a moment’s notice.
Habermas-Scher took her Dromio to great slapstick heights with falls, fuming and foolery.
Not to be forgotten are the other and primary “twins” Antipholus of Syracuse, Shaun Antony, and Antipholus of Ephesus, Jeremy Schaeg, long lost brothers whose daily activities muddle the life of each other.
Also, Adriana, Amber Starr Friendly and Luciana, Stephanie Robinson are delightful. Where Friendly plays the sassy and strong wife, Robinson plays the happily besotted and witty sister.
Bradac said that the Mardi Gras setting for the show came from an actual trip to New Orleans during the pre-Lent festival. The madness of Mardi Gras, which is ended by the pious reflection time of Lent seemed to Bradac as an allusion to the play, which begins in chaos and ends in order.
It is a play well done. The somewhat archaic language of Shakespeare is made understandable by the timing and inflection of the actors and the visual ensemble of the play is very entertaining to watch.
“The Comedy of Errors” will be playing at the Festival Amphitheatre until Aug. 20. Tickets are $34 general admission and $32 for students and seniors. The amphitheatre is located at 12740 Main St. in Garden Grove. Tickets can be purchased at the box office from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.