(LENOX, Mass.) – The outdoor Rose Footprint Theatre at Shakespeare & Company marks its 10th anniversary season with The Venetian Twins, a commedia dell’arte-flavored show featuring swordfights, whimsical costumes, ridiculous antics, hilarious music, and more. An outlandish comedy reminiscent of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, The Venetian Twins features a bevy of original catchy songs, part of Shakespeare & Company’s summer-long Bankside Festival, which includes a wide variety of outdoor performances and free events for the whole family throughout July and August.
Penned by Carlo Goldoni (who also wrote The Servant of Two Masters, performed in 2006), The Venetian Twins is a brilliant example of commedia dell’arte. Two identical twin brothers, Zanetto and Tonino, are separated at birth and have grown into two brothers who could not behave more differently. Tonino is a sophisticated urbanite, while Zanetto has morphed into a clueless bumpkin. As luck would have it, both twins decide to visit Verona at the exact same time, and it isn’t long before their friends and love interests start to confuse them for each other, with delightfully funny results.
The Venetian Twins marks the 10th anniversary of shows performed on the outdoor Rose Footprint Theatre. It’s directed by Jenna Ware (Red Hot Patriot, The Amorous Quarrel, Shirley Valentine), who also directed the very first show on the Rose stage with 2002’s The Henry VI Chronicles: In Two Parts.
Featuring audience favorite David Joseph (The Amorous Quarrel, The Real Inspector Hound, Cindy Bella) as the effervescent twins, and with original songs by Andrew Talen (who composed the catchy tunes found in Quarrel last summer), The Venetian Twins is a mix of cheery music and zany humor. The show’s costumes, designed by Kristina Howard, are a quirky, colorful blend of Dr. Seuss, the Jetsons, and a dash of the British royal family.
“From the plucky ingénue to the two-faced villain, our actors are making these hilarious commedia characters their own,” says Ware of Twins. “We’ve been having a blast in rehearsal, and I’m thrilled to be able to share this buoyant show with our audiences. With its witty misunderstandings, double entendres, crazy fun fights, and irresistible tunes, hopefully there is something for all to enjoy!”
The Venetian Twins runs now through August 27. Tickets are $10 for adults and free for children and students under 18.
Box Office: 413. 637.3353 or visit Shakespeare & Company.