By Julianne Mosher
The theater department at Suffolk County Community College’s Ammerman campus does not disappoint with their latest production of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors.
This classic slapstick comedy follows two sets of identical twins who were separated as infants during a storm at sea. Set in the Greek city of Ephesus, we meet a merchant named Aegeon, played by SCCC student Stefan Pallotta, who’s monologue tells the audience of his arrest and the tale of the shipwreck that separated his family — his twin sons, both named Antipholus, his wife, Amelia, and two twin servant boys, both named Dromio.
Eighteen years later, Aegeon allows his son and servant to travel to Ephesus to search for their long-lost twins but they too disappear. Now, Aegeon has come to the city to find them, but is arrested due to the animosity between the citizens of Ephesus and Syracuse (where the merchant is from). Pallotta’s early monologue is not an easy one to remember,but he does so impressively.
Later on, we meet Antipholus (of Syracuse) played by Cara Macedonio along with servant Dromio played by Meredith Reed. When the two Syracuse-ians are off and about, we meet their long-lost brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus, played by Kayla Bruno, and his Dromio played by Jerry Ewald.
The cast does a great job getting into their characters. Not only did they have to learn the rhymes of Shakespeare and ye-old language, but they also have to convince the audience of who they were — and they were funny! The performances of the two Dromio’s had the audience laughing during their performance last Saturday night. While Shakespeare might be hard to understand, the actors made the whole show completely coherent.
But we mustn’t forget the leading ladies of the show — Antipholus of Ephesus’s wife, Adriana, played by Madison Dodge, and her lovable sister Luciana, played by Kayla Pisano. While the two characters are completely different in personality, both Dodge and Pisano shine during their scenes.
Adriana, the tougher of the two, proves herself with her wit and no-nonsense attitude when faced with her “husband” acting oddly (surprise, it was the wrong Antipholus she was inviting to dinner). Then Luciana, the beauty who unintendedly seduces her “brother-in-law” will have you roar when you see the interaction between her and Antipholus of Syracuse.
But that’s just the beginning. For an hour-and-a-half, you’ll see the two sets of twins unknowingly interact with each other on several occasions that will make your skin curl with embarrassment for what is going on, but also laugh out loud.
Other standout performances include Brooke Morabito as Luce, the greasy kitchen wench, the alcoholic officer played by Malachai Casanova, Duke Solinus portrayed by Krystyna Plesnik, Hailey Wenke’s Amelia/Courtesan and Gabriel Patrascu’s Pinch/Angelo.
However, the show would not have been complete without the fantastic set design and costumes which really set the tone of the show.
Director Steve Marsh said that he wanted to bring a bit of an edge to the show, which has been known as a slapstick comedy for centuries. While it was filled with humor, it had the underlying, more somber, tone of what a trade war and immigration can do to a community which made it almost more real.
“The program here at Suffolk and the students are so fantastic,” Marsh said. “I’ve been coming here for over 40 years — this is where I saw my first show and what got me interested in acting.”
Suffolk County Community College, 533 College Road, Selden presents The Comedy of Errors at the Shea Theatre inside the Islip Arts Building on April 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and April 23 at 2 p.m. General admission is $15. Veterans and students 16 years of age or younger is $10. Suffolk students with current ID receive two free tickets. To order, visit sunysuffolk.edu/spotlight or call 631-451-4163.