Shakespeare in the Park Kicks Off with Kid-Friendly Comedy

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Hamish Linklater star in 'The Comedy of Errors' at The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park. Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Hamish Linklater star in The Comedy of Errors at The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park. (Joan Marcus)

You know summertime in New York has arrived when the Delacorte Theater unwraps itself for Shakespeare in the Park. The Public Theater presents two free Shakespeare works this season: The Comedy of Errors and later in the season, Love’s Labors Lost.

The Comedy of Errors has been updated to the 1940s, with some musical touches, too (though not as extensive as those expected for Labors, which is billed as "a new musical"). Starring in the Comedy are actors Hamish Linklater and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, which Shakespeare fans will recognize from previous outings at the Delacorte (fans of the ABC sitcom "Modern Family" will also know Ferguson). And Shakespeare in the Park regulars may also recognize the handiwork of director Daniel Sullivan, who has become a reliable mainstay of the program in recent years with his productions of Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice and last summer’s As You Like It.

The play turns on the confusion that results when Antipholus and his servant Dromio, visitors from Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, where unbeknownst to them their identical twins also live. In this production each set of twins is played by a single actor.

The production runs through June 30. New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood sizes up the comedy and the errors.

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