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.


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