Katz Meow: The Comedy of Errors

Ella Katz On the first day of Advanced Acting last year, Mr. Schneider told the class that we would be pursuing an entirely different art form—playing ourselves and writing our own plays. While this was an eye-opening approach, the cast wanted more of a typical “beginning-middle-end” show; we wanted to play characters, have elaborate costumes, and go “all out”. So when Mr. Baer told us this year that we would be putting on a modern adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, we were a bit skeptical, but excited. Now that the show is over, I can confidently say that we had nothing to worry about. Now, why a modern adaptation? Mr. Baer reflects on his choice to set this piece in the 70s instead of the 1500s. “I knew I had a really strong comedic cast, and I wanted to find a script that fit their (and my) senses of humor. I was leaning towards Shakespeare, and I remembered seeing this version at the Court Theatre a few years ago and loving it, so I contacted the writer Sean Graney. He was super excited about us doing it at Latin, and we went from there. The script had just the right blend of over-the-top insanity and understated sincerity, and most importantly, it allowed the cast to make it their own in a way that gave everyone multiple ridiculous and hilarious moments. My favorite comedy lies in the quiet, detailed moments of humanity in a crazy, messed up world, and this show hit that sweet spot. Plus: mustaches, track suits, and Bob Seger!” While play previews are dreaded by many actors and acting students alike, the preview really does determine who will come out to the show. Starting off with a packed house for our invited dress rehearsal, we knew we had crushed the preview. After seeing the performance on Thursday, senior Eli Bucksbaum exclaimed, “This one goes down in the books!” The energy and goofy nature of the show kept audience members on the edge of their seats, laughing after nearly every line. As Mr. Baer told us at the beginning of this process, getting laughs as an actor is probably “the best thing ever,” so we were all pretty happy with the outcome. “The energy of the show was incredible…it was so astounding that I ended up going both nights!” said senior Rishav Dasgupta. Not only was this show a success with the school, but it was most definitely a cast favorite. Maya Moravec tells THE FORUM, “The comedy of errors was my favorite play at Latin to be in. Mr. Baer did an amazing job of creating moments for all of us to get laughs and have a ton of fun onstage. Our cast is incredibly talented and it was so fun to work on this show with such hilarious people. We all put so much love and time into it and I will miss performing it so much!” Similarly, THE FORUM reached out to Henry Block, for whom this was his last Latin production. “I’ve never had this much fun in a show, both during performing and during the process” he said. “Both Mr. Baer and the script allowed for a lot of opportunities to let loose on stage. The small cast size also allowed us all to become really close.” All in all, the show was a 11/10. There was fake wine, costume changes, yoyo’s, and a fake cat. But more than that, the success of this production goes to show how well rounded and incredible the Latin Theatre Department really is. If you were to tell freshman me that I would be playing myself and admitting my insecurities to an audience or that I would be acting as a sassy wife in a Shakespeare comedy, I would have laughed at you. Being that this is my last show, I do have the slightest amount of regret in that I didn’t take more advantage of Latin Theatre opportunities; Latin has helped me discover and explore my penchant for performance, a discovery that will help prepare me for the rest of my life. ]]>