Comedie of Errors
Various Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 29; see opsfest.org for exact times and dates., Saturday August 10 | Free.
The Original Practice Shakespeare Festival takes a unique approach. Claiming to stage Shakespeare’s plays the way they were done in the Bard’s day, the company sets its shows outside, with minimal rehearsal, plentiful audience interaction and actors who switch roles for each performance. Shakespeare’s tale of two sets of twins and mistaken identities is a perfect fit for OPS Fest, and this adaptation flourishes as the actors improvise their way through bawdy humor and mix-ups. A recent Saturday performance incorporated bonus material solicited by a prompter, dressed like a referee, who sat at a table adjacent to the stage. Occasionally, she’d stop the play and ask a character to sing a love song, or to expound on “how he really feels,” or to improvise a dance. The actors are equally comfortable wielding swords as they are quoting Ghostbusters
and The Princess Bride
or confessing their love for specific audience members. For an unpracticed performance, the show is commendably clean and brief. But take note: Unless you want to be dragged into the action, don’t sit in front.