to present ‘The Boys
By ADAM TANOUS
Express Arts Editor
The Community School Players, led by
Director Fritz Brun, will present a 1938 Broadway gem, "The Boys From Syracuse,"
Wednesday, Nov. 19, through Friday, Nov. 21. Curtain time at The Community
School Theatre in Sun Valley is 7:30 p.m.
The tireless Dick Brown is music director
and conductor, Pamela Doucette is in charge of set design, and Hilarie Neely and
Michelle Minailo have choreographed the show.
The musical comedy, with music by Richard
Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart, is based on the Shakespeare classic "The
Comedy of Errors," which in turn is based on two comedies by Roman playwright
Plautus. It is the story of a family separated by a shipwreck. Unfortunately,
one half ends up in Ephesus, the other in Syracuse—both of which are Greek city
states that happen to be at political odds with one another.
Thrown into the mix is a case of mistaken
identities. Two of the family members are twins, played by Kevin and Connor
Wade. Their servants, played by Tyner Pesch and Ross Campbell, are twins as
well. To further complicate matters, the twins become romantically involved with
two women, played by Carina Covell and Scarlet Caldwell. The twins, for their
part, share a cook, played by Teddy Minford. The complications of reuniting the
family make for great comedy.
Also featured in the muscial are Brendan
Nelson, Simone Weisz, Hunter Smith, Josiah Drewien, AJ Beesley, Rosie Lowe,
Chris Nielson, Amy DiFrancesco, Rachael Becker, Chandler Ellis, Joan Baumgardner,
Estelle Rudolph, Alice Bynum, Louisa Waycott, Sarah Adicoff, Erin La Bow, Lily
Mott, Katie Peterson, Pepa Roth and Cristina Walsworth.
"The Boys From Syracuse" first opened on
Broadway Nov. 23, 1938, and ran for 235 performances. It was later made into a
movie, which fell far short of the critical acclaim the Broadway production
Later in his career, Rodgers teamed with
Oscar Hammerstein to produce the now classic musicals "Oklahoma," "The King and
I," "South Pacific" and "The Sound of Music." He did his early work with Lorenz
Hart. Their work, influenced to an extent by the literary wit of the members of
the Algonquin Round Table in New York, has a more urban flair to it than does
the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein.
In an April 14, 1963, New York Herald
Tribune interview Rodgers explained the genesis of the play:
"I knew Larry (Lorenz Hart, who wrote the
lyrics) would like the idea immediately. Anything that was novel or offbeat was
always sure to interest him. So early in 1938, when I suggested that we consider
adapting a Shakespearean play into a musical, his eyes quickly lit up and I
could almost see sparks coming out of his head. We promptly started tossing
ideas back and forth about the possibilities of doing Shakespeare in song and
dance. Since no one had ever done it before we had a pretty unlimited field to
"One play, however, intrigued us from the
start. And for a very personal reason. Larry had a younger brother named Teddy
Hart, who was a very clever comedian. He was short and dark and looked a lot
like Larry. But the man he was always being mistaken for was another gifted
comic, Jimmy Savo. ‘What about using The Comedy of Errors?’ Larry said,
excitedly rubbing his hands together as he always did when a good idea hit him.
‘Teddy and Jimmy Savo would be natural for the twin Dromios.’ I knew nepotism
should be frowned on, but I also knew this was an inspired idea. We went
straight to work on the show that eventually became ‘The Boys From Syracuse.’"
Tickets for the Community School
production are available at Chapter One in Ketchum, Read All About It in Hailey,
or at the door. Prices are $16 for adults and $8 for students.