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Merced Shakespearefest opens A Comedy of Errors
comedy pic
The mishaps that come from mistaken identities play out in the Merced Shakespearefest production of “A Comedy of Errors,” which opens Saturday. Pictured are Dan Essenmacher, Dustin Carr, and Jim Bennett. - photo by Photo Contributed
Heike Hambley is promising a few beatings, a theft and even a possible demonic possession at Merced’s Applegate Park on Saturday. However, park-goers need not worry since it will all be happening up on the stage as the Merced Shakespearefest stages “A Comedy of Errors.”“It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch,” said Hambley, the founder and director of Merced Shakespearefest. “This is one of the funniest of Shakespeare’s comedies.”“A Comedy of Errors” was one of Shakespeare’s first plays. The story centers around two sets of twins who were separated at birth. The twins each have the same names and in each set there is a master and a servant. The pairs are reunited through circumstances and all kinds of mishaps unfold as a consequence of mistaken identities.Hambley has set this version in a Turkish harbor town full of bazaars, ruffians, and harems, which she says lends well to the action of the play.The play runs about 90 minutes long. Pre-show entertainment will be provided by a troupe of belly dancers.The show is at the Merced Open Air Theater at Applegate Park at 1045 W. 25th St. Performances are set for 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and Aug. 21 and 6 p.m. Sunday and Aug. 22.All the shows are free. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets.The show stars Jim Bennett of Merced; Andrew Burkum of Delhi; Daniel Essenmacher of Modesto; and Dustin Carr of Turlock.Additional cast members are Rick Morrison, Bert Roper, Traci Sprague, Shelley Rohde, David Narbona, David Brown, Matt Thomas, Karen Damme, Julianne Aguilar, Chad Stafford, Linda Hammer-Brown, Athena Sandoval, David Hambley, Dave Elam, and Gerardo Larios.To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.