The Grand Theatre Revels in Jokes with ‘Comedy of Errors’

8ylQvp5l Cate Heiner

“The Comedy of Errors” opens this weekend at The Grand Theatre, along with the mishaps, mistakes and laughter of a good time.

“The Comedy of Errors” follows many of Shakespeare’s well-known comedy tropes. For those unfamiliar with the classic story, it opens with two pairs of identical twins, separated at birth. Years later, a certain Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrives in Ephesus. Little do they know, it’s the home of their respective twins — Antipholus of Ephesus and Dromio of Ephesus. First, it’s just a case of mistaking one Antipholus for the other Antipholus. Things quickly escalate to misguided beatings, an arrest, accusations of infidelity, theft, madness, seductions (almost) and even demonic possession. Perhaps the most farcical of Shakespeare’s plays, “The Comedy of Errors” makes for a lighthearted, fun evening at the theatre.

A number of U students and alumni are performing in this production of “The Comedy of Errors,” including Erica Carvalho, who plays Dromio of Syracuse in this production. She describes her character as, “an exuberant and witty fellow who will wax philosophical any chance he gets.”

An alumni of the U’s Actor Training Program Carvalho, has work ranging from the Department of Theatre’s “Animal Farm” and Pioneer Theatre Company’s “An Inspector Calls” to the title roles in both “Hamlet” at the Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory and “Miss Julie.” She describes “Comedy of Errors” as the most farcical show she has ever been in, which makes it all the more enjoyable to perform.

“The most exciting part of this process has been the opportunity to play a clown,” Carvalho said. “It’s fun to experiment with a type of character that is a little out of my comfort zone.”

On the whole, Carvalho enjoys watching her fellow actors perform. “One of my favorite moments in the show is when Adriana mistakes the Syracusian Antipholus for her husband. The actress playing Adriana is hysterical.”

Comedy does come with its own set of challenges. For Carvalho, the biggest difficulty is the bubble sword she has to use. “I have to fend off several adversaries by blowing bubbles at them, and it’s harder than you might think.”

Luckily, all the work is worth it once the audience comes to see the show. “I hope the audience leaves with sore abs from a night spent in stitches,” Carvalho said. “I have loved working on this show. It has been a pleasant retreat from the dreary winter days. If anyone could use a vacation they should consider the island of Ephesus and come see the show.”

“The Comedy of Errors” opens Feb. 3 and runs through Feb. 25 at The Grand Theatre in Salt Lake (1575 South State Street). Tickets are available at the box office or online at www.grandtheatrecompany.com.

c.heiner@dailyutahchronicle.com