Peter Marks of The Washington Post and Jane Horwitz of Washingtonian recently saw our production of The Servant of Two Masters, which they call “deliriously happy-making” and “simply a riot.”
At Shakespeare Theatre, a true master of its comic domain
by Peter Marks
The Washington Post
Published May 21, 2012
Click, click, click. That’s the precision with which practically every jubilant act of irreverence registers in Shakespeare Theatre Company’s deliriously happy-making version of Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters.”
Here in Washington, the play — in perhaps only a slightly more faithful confection, sublimely directed by Christopher Bayes — provides an equivalent bowlful of joy. Up there with playwright David Ives’s riffs on classical French comedy, director Keith Baxter’s zany treatments of Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Michael Kahn’s of Ben Jonson, this “Servant” ranks as one of the most gleeful Shakespeare company offerings of the past 10 years.
Rest assured: Bayes and company, egged on by adapter Constance Congdon’s buoyant script and the exuberant melodies of Chris Curtis and Aaron Halva, consistently locate Goldoni’s sweet spot. (The director originally staged the play, with a few variations in cast, at Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven.) Interspersing the jokes with whimsical choreography and a few delightful stage effects — set designer Katherine Akiko Day and lighting designer Chuan-Chi Chan devise an enchantingly flickering prologue — the production conveys a completeness in all its assorted parts.
Read the full article on The Washington Post’s website.
Theater Review: The Servant of Two Masters at the Lansburgh Theatre
by Jane Horwitz
Published May 21, 2012
It’s all happening at the Lansburgh Theatre, and “all” is no exaggeration in this case. The Servant of Two Masters, presented by Shakespeare Theatre Company through June 24, has everything–high hilarity, low comedy, breakneck slapstick, fine singing, a bit of dancing, and a dash of fish juggling, as well as asides that sporadically yank this mid-18th-century farce into present-day Washington.
The “servant” of the title is Truffaldino, who’s played by the sublime Steven Epp. Magnificently droll in faded motley and a half mask (several of the stock characters are masked–another commedia tradition), Epp is a dream to watch. Loose-limbed, supple-voiced, and blessed with devastating comic timing, his Truffaldino sets in motion a wildly convoluted plot that’s also a classic formula.
Read the full article on Washingtonian‘s website.