William Shakespeare would probably have liked hip-hop. It sure likes him.
SWC’s production of the Shakespeare send up “The Bomb-itty of Errors” brought out the will.i.am in Big Willie S. It was a well-staged laugh riot of Renaissance farce and street smart sitcom all rapped together.
Director Ruff Yeager’s retelling of Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors,” credited to the writing team The Q Brothers, is still set in the swinging crossroads city of Ephesus, Turkey, made all more hip by the gifted mind and excellent design work of Professor Mike Buckley. “Bomb-itty” is staged in three locations: a brothel called Othello’s Pleasure Palace which is contiguous with St. Betty’s Cathedral, the marketplace – which was also the DJ’s booth – and the home of Antipholus of Ephesus. An X dominates to floor to signify the crossroads Anthipholus and Dromio face throughout the course of one eventful day.
When Antipholus of Syracuse (Dallas DeLeon) arrives in swinging Ephesus with his servant, Dromio (Juan Palomino), things get complicated. They are confused with Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus (Paul Gaines and Cortez Johnson).
DeLeon and Johnson owned the evening. DeLeon’s outstanding rapping and Johnson’s comedic acting, were as fluid as their ability to flip from one character to another. They gave the crowd mirth and laughter to let old wrinkles come.
Audience interaction was encouraged. Kelly Henry, who portrayed Luciana, was also a highlight. With her wit and quirkiness kept the audience in stitches.
Yeager himself stepped as an emergency understudy. Decked in a crimson colored wig, glittery scarlet pumps and a fusia tutu, he pushed the play to the brink of delightful insanity. Yeager instantly inhabited the character and was the embodiment of bomb-diggity.
Willie the Shake might have said “Present mirth hath present laughter” or “Yo, blood, stick wid the muggin cause yo act is fly ’n buggin.” “Bomb-itty” was the bomb.