Get Your Swagger On with Hip Persians and Harem Pants
By Community Reviewer Chelsea Campbell
When you walk into The Leeward Theatre’s alternative space the world is so wonderfully set. The set is immaculately designed by John R. Barajas, Jr. & Jerrold Kanda. We see a marketplace that is so full of life with crates, fabric, baskets, and a lovely little center fountain. The music makes you feel like you’re in a hip Persian club. The costume design by Kasey Armendariz was so whimsical and fun, I seriously want a pair of those harem pants to wear all the time. Lighting was so perfect for the play; Sara Whitehead truly brought so much dimension to the world.
There were some truly magical acting moments in the play especially with the Dromios (John R. Barajas, Jr. & Dante Castillo). They had such great physical comedy that made them a joy to see on stage. I also really loved the Courtezan (Jasmine Bautista); she brought a dry humor and husky voice that made me laugh several times during her time on stage. The biggest hoot on stage was Doctor Pinch (Jay Laeno)! He was HYSTERICAL! He was such a joy to see on stage and upstaged everyone in his physicality. Finally, Elizabeth Mervin was a hilarious and geniusAntipholus of Syracuse, she has so much swagger she outclasses some of the men!
My favorite moments in the show were the shadow puppet show, which brought so much playfulness into the Merchant’s story in the beginning, and the perfectly timed sketch where Dromio of Syracuse is taunting Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus through a tiny whole in the door to their home-- it was a perfect example of lighting designer and actor teamwork.
Disclosure statement: Chelsea Campbell is a student employee of The Leeward Theatre. She has been involved in theatre on Oahu for 10 years including directing the theatre program at Pas De Deux Hawaii for 3 years.