Theater review: Servant of Two Masters - a madcap comedy with a lively young cast

Friday, June 9, 2017

A lively production with a wonderful young cast

Servant of Two Masters
Written by Carlo Goldoni
Translated and Adapted by Marco Luly
Directed by Duygu Erdogan Monson
Shoreline Community College Theater
June 8 - 17, 2017

Review by Doug Gochanour

Servant of Two Masters is a rather madcap comedy written by Carlo Goldoni in 1746. In Italy at that time, actors became know for a specific role or character they played. In this case it was the role of Truffaldino, servant first to Beatrice, and soon also to Florindo. You could also make a case for Tuffaldino serving his hungry tummy as a third master.

Zach Starbard is brilliant
as Truffaldino
An Italian actor had requested this play be written for him to play this role. Another feature of the Italian Commedia dell’arte is its use of masks. This actor may have wanted to get more use from his Truffaldino mask.

In this farce, Zach Starbard is brilliant as this chronically hungry servant, who devises a scheme to double his meals and income by serving two masters at the same time. He becomes servant to Beatrice (Katelyn Douay) and also to Florindo (Nate Thomsen). What can go wrong with that?

Florindo may have killed Beatrice’s brother in a duel back in Turin. Beatrice comes to Venice disguised as her brother, hoping to acquire the dowry owed to her brother. Florindo comes to Venice to seeking his lovely Beatrice.

Things get even more complex as more characters join the fray. We have an innkeeper (Charles Bradley), a porter (Mac Larson) and a waiter (Anthony Shipway). And to make it beyond complex, we have Pantalone (Danny Bracy), Dr. Lombardi (Katelyn Jones), Clarice (Macy Mullen-Racca) and Silvio (Cassia Ward).

As the mistaken identities and various love interest complications mount, Truffaldino manages to find time for the pursuit of  Smeraldina (Noah Bruckshen).  Perhaps he was also hungry for love. How can all this strategic chaos end well?

Nate Thomsen and Katelyn Douay
as Florindo and Beatrice

Do take notice of this fine set, designed by Richard Schaefer and his fellow workers. It allows actors to be in a scene one minute, cheering and watching from the benches on the sidelines, ready to jump in for their next turn on center stage. It is just right for this physically active team.

Do come enjoy this funny and lively production, featuring a wonderful young cast. You will be glad you did.


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