Photo: Ken Holmes
Holiday of Errors (or Much Ado About Stockings) is a Christmas theatrical comedy that is often genius
by Miryam Gordon – SGN A&E Writer
HOLIDAY OF ERRORS (OR MUCH ADO ABOUT STOCKINGS)
SOUND THEATRE COMPANY AND
ONE LUMP OR TWO PRODUCTIONS
THE ARMORY/ CENTER HOUSE THEATRE
Through December 21
It’s new, it’s funny, it’s smart, it spoofs Shakespeare and other stuff, and it’s kind-of sort-of Christmas-y! Holiday of Errors (or Much Ado About Stockings) is a new comedy by Frank Lawler and Daniel Flint. Lawler is an inveterate performer of Shakespeare and other classical theater all over town, so he certainly knows whereof he writes. Flint’s bio shows boatloads of Shakespearian experience as well and an MFA from Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University, to boot.Their world premiere production is mounted by Sound Theatre Company and One Lump or Two Productions. Lawler stars as a despondent and broke Will Shakespeare, until he gets a Christmas-time commission from Queen Elizabeth and has to write something in a hurry! He and his little company, Richard (Matt Fulbright), Charlie (Marianna de Fazio playing a man), Aloysius (Terry Boyd) and Lou (Damien Charboneau) get to Whitehall to find that the Queen’s Chamberlain, Sir Christopher Hatton (Ian Bond), and the Mayor (also Terry Boyd) are determined to shut down all the theaters and get rid of actors!
Finding that Queen Elizabeth (Elinor Gunn), far from being virginistic, is quite the lusty woman, they work on a plan to foil the plot. Along with Justin Lynn and Luke S. Walker, and Christopher Marlowe, a rival playwright who may or may not be a ghost (played by Daniel Stoltenberg), the kind-of, sort-of plausible plot devices work their farcical ways and eventually save the day. Spoiler alert! What? You expect a Christmas theatrical comedy to allow theaters to be shut and actors to be banned?
The script is often genius. There are puns every 30 seconds or more that whiz by, so get your ears perked to catch ’em all. There are a few moments that lag and the show could lose about 10 minutes and end up even sharper, but overall, it’s quite fun.
They weave in rewritten Christmas tunes you know, and plotlines from Twelfth Night and other Shakespeare plays. Certainly there are Shakespeare’s lines here and there, as well. Director Teresa Thuman generally manages to keep the hilarity rolling and the frolic frolicking.
A spare set with arches and curtains stands for various locales and we don’t miss more (from Sound Theatre Company veteran Richard Schaefer). Costumes by Justine Wright are appropriate without being fussy.
Would it help if you knew a lot of Shakespeare? Probably, if you want to get most of the puns and jokes, but this is certainly low-brow enough to work even for children, though they should probably be closer to the 10 or 11 year old age.
The production’s got its share of bawdiness and hints of Gay-ety. The talent on stage is a capable lot and fully able to manage much split-second comedy. Charlie, the ‘man’ de Fazio plays, is the smart discerning one in the play, and it is enjoyable watching her try to play personalities against each other to win. Lawler is fully invested in the character of Shakespeare. Gunn has no intention of playing a haughty Queen until one tiny moment near the end where she unleashes her wrath and we can never underestimate her again.
For more information, go to www.soundtheatrecompany.org or www.brownpapertickets.com or call 800-838-3006.
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See original article here.