March 22, 2011 > Theatre Review: The Servant of Two Masters
Theatre Review: The Servant of Two Masters
By Steve Worley
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players," said Shakespeare. No other quote describes as aptly the converging story lines in "The Servant of Two Masters," a 'commedia dell'arte all'improviso', or 'comedy through the art of improvisation' style of classic Italian theater tradition.
Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni originally wrote "The Servant of Two Masters" in 1743. It is hard to believe that such an ancient play would have any relevance to today's society. Yet the play as performed by the exuberant cast at the Calaveras Repertory Theatre in Milpitas will have you laughing. This is the hilarious translation of Carlo Goldoni's classic that was performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2009, never before presented in the Bay Area. "The Servant of Two Masters" is one of the few classic commedia dell'arte plays to be written, and open to very broad interpretation. Oded Gross and Tracy Young's 2009 adaptation was one of the hits of the 2009 season in Ashland.
Bay Area favorite Bill Olson, plays the legendary Truffaldino who fights hunger, recession, and plain old bad luck to become the best servant of all time by becoming the servant of two masters. Foothill Theatre Conservatory graduate Brooke Milos makes her Calaveras Repertory debut as the feisty servant Smeraldina. Also debuting on the Calaveras stage are Grace Khazar as the extremely emotional Clarice, Michael I. Green as doddering old Pantalone, and Jerry Hitchcock as knowledgeable Dottore.
Katie Krueger debuts on the CRT stage playing the cross-dressing protagonist Beatrice. Returning to the Calaveras theatre are Todd Norris as love-struck Sylvio, Lillian Bogovich as femme fatale Brighella, and Glenn Artero as the searching Florindo. Patrick Hilt, Jairo Hernandez, and Gregory Bell share the role of Giovanni.
Artistic director John Ribovich is also the founding director of Calaveras Repertory Theatre. He has directed over 50 full-scale productions, with an emphasis on Shakespeare and other classic authors.
Tickets can be ordered by phone at Brown Paper Tickets: (800) 838-3006 or online at www.brownpapertickets.com. For further information call (408) 586-8831 or check the Calaveras Repertory Theatre website at www.calaverasrep.com.
The Servant of Two Masters
March 18-20, 25-27
8 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays
2 p.m. Sundays
Calaveras Repertory Theatre
1331 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas
Tickets: $12 youth/senior; $18 general admission