The thinking behind the Old Globe’s Summer Shakespeare Festival staging of The Comedy of Errors must have been either … a.) let’s do Shakespeare for people who don’t especially like Shakespeare, or b.) this play is so silly and inconsequential we’ll just use it as an excuse to do a “New Orleans in the ‘20s” show. Regardless, this production of the one-act (that’s not a misprint) The Comedy of Errors directed by Scott Ellis tells the story of two sets of twins and all the ensuing confusion, but becomes a big, loud French Quarter party. Besides Alexander Dodge’s stunning sets and Linda Cho’s period costumes, there are beaucoups jazzy interludes performed by strutting musicians and cast sing-alongs of “Down by the Riverside,” “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Tiger Rag.”
Halfway through this Comedy of Errors, everyone in the outdoor theater was letting the good times roll so brazenly you’d never know they were at a Shakespeare festival. The farcical fun aside, that’s kind of a shame.
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.