Monday, September 1, 2014

To Ephesus and Back

Two children play with their Ken dolls just before bedtime. They pretend that the dolls are sets of estranged twins (a very logical sort of play, considering the likeness of all Kens). The kids hear their mother and quickly throw the dolls into their toy box and the stage darkens. When it lights up again, actors emerge from the toy box and we are transported to Ephesus and to the delightful, fresh fun that Comedy of Errors remains.

Yesterday's closing performance of the play at Sol Theatre was charming in its anachronisms (like the Godfather theme for Balthazar), easily recognizable (Antipholus and Dromio are dressed like Ken dolls), and just the best time to be had of an afternoon. The dialogue retains its freshness when placed in the 21st century, and fits in marvelously with contemporary cadences, slang, and Barbie-world costumes. In fact, these underline the farcical nature of the play and I do not remember the last time I had laughed so hard. No, wait, I do remember; it was at another production of Sol, so it was the same place that I had laughed like this.

The director of the theatre is a friend so close that had it not been for her, I'd have curled up in a cave long ago and disappeared from the world; knowing me well, she mandated that I not miss this one. I have not, of late, been as regular an audience as I once was, since my child, whose home the theatre is, has already flown the coop, and going to her theatre without her seems unreal. But I am always welcomed and I know to listen to my good friend when she says I should not miss this. So I knew that I'd have a good time when I left home yesterday. But I was not prepared for the helpless, breath stealing laughter, the kind that hurts your ribs afterwards, the kind that you never ever want to live without.

This production is dedicated to the director who, tragically, never got to see this product in its finished stage. I cannot think of a more fitting celebration of life. The actors sang her favorite song, played their parts with such passion that I will forever think of them as those characters, and celebrated the one they missed, thanking her at the end of the play, amidst a well-deserved standing ovation.

I came away refreshed and renewed, with a smile that refuses to leave me, even now. The production was sparkling with brilliance, and that is an understatement. I have always enjoyed my Shakespeare when played in a park or in a black box theatre, so it WAS the perfect Shakespeare for me. There are, of course, extra perks attendant to every Shakespeare and yesterday provided those as well: I met a fellow Bard-o-phile, and re-met an extremely talented actor whose work I have always, always admired, after a decade.

There are certain outings I always look forward to, even though I am going alone, and yesterday was one of them. Yesterday's outing has enriched me immeasurably. My world feels connected, somehow, as though the words written five centuries ago have reached out to heal me, to set cogs in motion in my internal machine so that now, everything fits.

What can I say? I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it!


  1. So glad that it was so wonderful!

  2. Thank you so much for your kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed the show. We hope we made Laura proud. :)