William Shakespeare quite possibly would have found it humorous when a person might refer to a ridiculous situation with the phrase “a comedy of errors.”
He might chuckle because the phrase would later be derived from one of his earliest works, “The Comedy of Errors,” which is rife with puns and wordplay throughout.
Shakespeare in the Vines version of the comedic play will open this weekend and promises to be a good one, according to director Alejandro Lang.
“If you miss this one, you are going to miss one heck of a great time,” Lang said.
In the play, Antiphonus and his servant Dromio search for their long lost twins.
“(They) find themselves in the same city on the same day,” Lang said. “The confusion begins when the people of the town mistake who is who.
“The main group of characters would be the two sets of twins, the Anipholuses, and their servants, the Dromios. The two Antioholuses are played by Joshua Somers and Santiago Valencia Northrup and the two Dromios are played by Gavin Martin and my daughter, Olivia Lang,” Alejandro Lang said.
While confusion ensues in Ephesus, the laughs continue until the twins find each other and resolve all of the problems caused earlier.
Lang is thrilled with the cast he’s assembled.
“I couldn’t be happier with the choices I made in casting this show,” he said. “I am not, by any means, a typical director. I started out as a street performer many moons ago. But, everyone in this cast bought into my wild ride and have taken it further than even I thought it would go down the road of wackiness.”
He said he appreciates Shakespeare’s ability to get a laugh.
“I love the fact that Shakespeare, even though he wrote this over 400 years ago, completely understands how to set up a gag,” Lang said. “He is obviously known for his histories and his dramas, but, in my opinion, he is as funny as any of the great comedy writers we know today. And when you can write a joke over 400 years ago that still pops, that is huge and deserves respect.”
Lang said his goal was to make Shakespeare accessible to the masses.
“Being the gag man that I consider myself, and with a writer like William Shakespeare behind me, makes me truly believe that anyone who comes to this show will have no difficulty understanding the language or what is going on and will undoubtedly have a good time,” he said. “I love the pace of the show. I love that my actors trusted me when I told them I wanted to make this a stupidly funny show. And had the faith in me to go there, and once again, they took it further than I thought possible.”
Lang said that more than anything else, he thinks people need to laugh.
“It is easy to get caught up in going to work, paying the bills, taking care of life and sometimes a little slapstick, stupid comedy, even if it comes from William Shakespeare, is what we need,” he said.
He said he feels fortunate to embark on this production with the people he loves.
“I am truly the luckiest man in the world for this cast, for my wife stage managing for me, for my daughter being in the show and my son working tech for me,” Lang said. “Doing the thing you love with the people you love the most is truly the coolest thing in the world. Do us both a favor and come check us out.”
“The Comedy of Errors” will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, Sept. 5-21, at Baily Vineyard and Winery, 33440 La Serena Way, in Temecula.
Tickets are $22 for general admission, $17 for seniors ages 55 and older, students and military and $30 for Royal Table seating.
Attendees are welcome to bring picnic dinners to the show, but outside alcohol is not permitted.
Tickets can be purchased online at https://tickets.temeculatheater.org.
For more information, visit http://www.shakespeareinthevines.org, email email@example.com or call (951) 402-7488.
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.