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Monday, October 11, 2010

The Comedy of Errors - Court Theatre (theater review by guest bloggers Michael Peters and Jessie Fisher)

Jessie: Oh man, if I have to sit through ONE MORE play that focuses on the xenophobic consequences of economic turmoil, I’m going to...

Michael: Boy howdy. I hate things that do with things that happen now. Which is why I’m glad I got a chance to see Comedy of Errors down at Court Theatre on the campus of University of Illinois at Chicago last weekend.

Jessie: I was there too. Last weekend. That University sure knows how to throw money at a problem, and by a problem, I mean Sean Graney. This was a college production, right?

Michael: It must be. They can’t get very many actors into their queer theatre department, so there were only six of them. But what windows! Man, they put all kinds of money into windows. Which is good, saves on heating costs in the winter time.

Jessie: I will say, for college kids, they were pretty good. I’m not going to say great or professional, because they aren’t, but pretty good.

Michael: So, this play. Comedy of Errors is I guess about these two dudes who show up in this place and then get mistaken for these other dudes that already live there who talk a little different but look like the other dudes. Like, a lot.

Jessie: Yeah, for example: Alex Goodrich plays twin servants named Bro-meo. One is real foppish and muppet like. The other one, like, cares about his job. And doesn’t make as many dick jokes. That’s hows you can tell ‘em apart. Hey, speaking of muppets, you can check out the Jim Henson exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Michael: Aw, totally! That’s right nearby! I wish I had seen that play this week so I could have gone to that great exhibit first and had a good time before I went to a boring play. But anyway, Bro-meo’s boss/friend (played by Erik Hellman) is this guy Aristotle (and both of these guys, well, all four of these guys I guess have the same name, I mean, two of the guys...whatever. You’d totally get it if you saw it next week before it closes) and one of the Aristotles totally sounds like one of the Jersey Shore Boys.

Jessie: Note to reality TV casting directors: If you ever need to cast an Aryan Jersey Shore, call Erik Hellman.

Michael: Um, and me. Hello? I totally drink Becks and am German.

Jessie: Oh man, that’s true. What would your German Jersey Shore nickname be?

Michael: Herr-y?

Jessie: Oy.

Michael: Ja vohl! Anyhow, so these guys are getting mistaken for their identical looking and exactly named counterparts and they have these crazy wives who love these dudes and keep mistaking the other dudes for their dudes.

Jessie: Those wives are all played by Stacy Stoltz and Elizabeth Ledo. Who have really been given some great opportunities in this community, considering they are college students.

Michael: I was just happy to be a replacement in a late-night production of Psycho Beach Party at the Bailiwick when I was in college, and these chicks are tearing it up! Stacy Stoltz does more shows than Zero Mostel. And he’s dead!

Jessie: AND, she is totally dating the quarterback of the football team named Matt Hawkins.

Michael: Yeah, both their names and genetics are totally cut out for their chosen careers.

Jessie: Keep your eye on these kids, they might just make something of themselves once they graduate.

Michael: But back to that play thing. So this mistaken stuff goes on and on after we’ve gotten the gist of the joke in the first ten minutes. I heard this dumb writer dragged this out for, like, two and a half hours. I would have probably carved my chest out like a pumpkin (Halloween!) if I had to sit through one more minute of “Oh, you were there? I was here! No, you was there! I am was!” stuff.

Jessie: Thankfully, this turkey (Thanksgiving!) has been carved apart masterfully by the electric knife hands of Sean Graney. So it’s short and dumb. And has more blowjob jokes than you can shake a drumstick at.

Michael: Also, there’s some other college students whom I’ve seen in other Sean Graney plays, Kurt Ehrmann and Swarthy Steve Wilson really outdo themselves being a bunch of different parts other than themselves. There was one other woman in it too who was this totally sexy whore that made me feel all tingly, I’m not sure she was an actress, but I’d definitely like to hit it.

Jessie: I am pretty sure she was a real live whore that just wandered into the theatre. And everyone improvised around her.

Michael: I don’t care who she was. The PACKAGE on that girl. Daaaaaaaay-UM!

Jessie: Settle down, Michael.

Michael: I’m sorry, I got excited over her ruffles. They have rrrrrridges.

Jessie: Did you just steal a “joke” from an early 90’s chip commercial?

Michael: ...what?

Jessie: So anyway, at the end, every thing gets straightened out in a disco abbey, just like Shakespeare intended.

Michael: Yeah, the lighting design by TV’s Melissa Heather Gilbert in that part really set the mood. And it reminded me of that whot whore again. Which reminds me of her now...

Jessie: You should probably fill out a missed connection on craigslist for her. If she comes back to you, it was meant to be...

Michael: We’ve got to finish this up so I can wander 55th street with a flashlight and a metal detector. Whores like that always leave a trail of nickel-plated jewelry.

Jessie: Sounds like a safe plan. So shall we wrap this up?

Michael: Indeed.

Jessie: I give this play an A. Because the Hypocrites are the only theatre company that will hire me so I have to stay on their good side.

Michael: I’ll give it an A too, an A for the Aggravated Sexual Assault I’ll be committing on the South Side in about an hour. Whee!

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