To Err is Divine


If you live in the Washington, DC area and you would like to spend two hours in culturally elevated laughter, run run run to the Folger Shakespeare Library and purchase a ticket to A Comedy of Errors.

You may already be acquainted with the plot—lost and separated twins, eccentric servants, misguided lovers, amusing mix-ups, and a happy ending all around (which familiar elements—except for the last—Shakespeare adopted from ancient Roman comedy). But it’s well worth another viewing in this current manifestation, framed somewhat unusually in a manner I will not divulge, and influenced by Italian Commedia dell’Arte with its masks, wild costumes, and physical gags, here not excessively annoying. The Folger Theatre itself is worth the visit, a warm, wood-paneled and intimate space that feels more residential than institutional.

My daughter and I saw a mid-week matinee for school groups, most of them high school students greatly appreciative of the bawdy jokes that went over the heads of our younger homeschoolers.

For another illustration in celebration of this day, please see Saved by the Bell.

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