Too Much Whipped Cream
By Bob and Karen Isaacs
BOB: Yale Rep is presenting the classic commedia dell'arte play The Servant of Two Masters on the University Theater stage.
KAREN: If you like the Three Stooges, Monty Python, slapstick and burlesque you will have a good time at this production.
BOB: It is wild and wooly.
KAREN: The plot is rather simple. A wily servant -- who always needs money and is always hungry -- decides he can make twice much and eat twice as much if her works for two masters at the same time. Add in some mistaken identities, a woman masquerading as her dead brother, and some young lovers and you have the plot.
BOB: This is directed by Christopher Bayes who teaches physical comedy at the Yale Drama School. And he certainly demonstrates what he teaches his classes.
KAREN: The actors certainly work hard. But the problem may be that it is TOO over-the-top. The first acts lasts almost 90 minutes.
BOB: We've seen this adaptation before -- at Hartford Stage -- and other adaptations -- the play should not be that long. Every schtick is not only carried to the extreme but then repeated.
KAREN: It needed to be faster paced. Even on a sundae there is a limit to how much whipped cream is necessary before it starts being too much.
BOB: I guess there's even a limit to chocolate.
KAREN: There was one other thing that bothered me. It was the laugh track.
BOB: Yes, even before the show began there was the amplified noises of an audience. It continued through the show.
KAREN: At times it sounded like the amplified audience was having a better time than the real audience sitting in the theater.
BOB: But if you like slapstick and burlesque - you will have a good time at The Servant of Two Masters at Yale through April 3.
This review appeared on WNHU -- 88.7 fm and WNHU.net, March 29 to April 3.