COURTESY OF BRAD GODA
"Comedy of Errors" cast, from left, Brooke Jones, Shiromi Arserio, Jessica Ciufo, Stephanie Kong and Marissa Robello.
Shakespeare trio adds up to fun
It has been exactly 390 years since William Shakespeare shuffled off this mortal coil -- Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow -- and the fifth season of the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival begins Friday at Kennedy Theatre's Earle Ernst Lab Theatre at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. You do the math.
We're talking "Much Ado About Nothing," opening Friday; "Antony and Cleopatra," opening July 15; and "Comedy of Errors," opening July 22. We'll do the math this time: Each play runs two weeks.
» In "Much Ado About Nothing," the hero is a girl, and things get complicated from there. It is directed by R. Kevin Doyle and stars Elizabeth Wolfe and Joe Abraham as Beatrice and Benedick, Alvin Chan as Claudio, Noelle Poole as Hero and Stephen Mead as Dogberry. We're also promised "stunning Elizabethan-disco costumes" by Sandra Finney.
» Then things get, if not more serious, then more heated with "Antony and Cleopatra," described as "Romeo and Juliet" for grown-ups. Or maybe it's the other way 'round. It is directed by Harry Wong III with Reb Allen and Taurie Kinoshita as Tony and Cleo, with Brent Yoshikami as Caesar and Kathy Hunter as Octavia.
» The festival comes to a raucous conclusion with "Comedy of Errors," with "physical comedy, word play, bawdy humor and comic misunderstandings," rather like Congress these days. Just for fun, it's an all-distaff cast, just to show you how far we've come in 390 years. Stephanie Kong plays Dromio of Syracuse and Dromio of Ephesus, Marissa Robello is Adrianna, Brooke Jones as Luciana and Jessica Ciufo and Shiromi Arserio as the Antipholus twins. Hey, they're all gals!
Shows are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $18 ($16 for seniors and military; $10 students). Or see all three for $42. Information: 550-8457 or hawaiishakes.org.