Acting Up

All righty, then, let's see if we've got this straight.

There's this guy named Antipholus (of Ephesus) who has a twin brother named Antipholus (of Syracuse). The Syracuse-based Antipholus doesn't know about the Ephesus-based Antipholus, and vice versa. Now Antipholus (of Ephesus) has a manservant by the name of Dromio who happens to have a twin brother by the name of Dromio who (wouldn't you know it?) just happens to be employed in a similar manner by one Antipholus (of Syracuse). As luck would have it, both sets of twins find themselves in the same place at the same time without either being any the wiser. Need it be mentioned that much confusion and hilarity ensue?

William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors (with added music by Guy Woolfenden and lyrics from Trevor Nunn) will be making a glorious mess of the stage at Scottsdale Center for the Arts on Friday, April 27. The following evening will see an entirely different production being performed by The Acting Company. The repertory troupe is currently trooping around the country with mountings of both Errors and O Pioneers!.

The latter play is adapted from Willa Cather's 1913 novel about the struggles of a Swedish immigrant woman in the unforgiving world of Nebraska in the 1890s. The character of Alexandra represents the strength of all of the pioneer women who overcame soul-crushing hardships to build a new life in a new land. This stage version by Darrah Cloud comes to us with music by Kim D. Sherman.

It's strange to realize that The Acting Company is America's only professional touring classical repertory theater company. Since its beginnings in 1972 under the tutelage of Margot Harley and the late John Houseman, it has brought more than 75 productions to all but two states, and seven other countries to boot! A list of the famous folks who have done time with the company would fill this page, but a sampling of some of the familiar names includes Patti LuPone, Jeffrey Wright, David Ogden Stiers and Kevin Kline.

The Comedy of Errors will be performed on Friday, April 27. O Pioneers! will be performed on Saturday, April 28, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street in Scottsdale. Showtime for both productions is 8 p.m. For ticket information, call at 480-994-2787.

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David Gofstein