The Servant of Two Masters drops in at the Hilberry Theatre
Detroit, MI – On January 15, 2010 The Hilberry Theatre kicks off the New Year with The Servant of Two Masters performed in traditional Commedia dell’Arte. Underpaid and overstretched, wily Italian servant (Arlecchino) gets lucky in this classic comedy. Our hero isn’t satisfied with the food he’s paid, so in one fantastic day, he lands a second master. Two jobs mean twice as much food…and twice as much work! And there’s little chance of being caught, unless his two masters happen to be looking for each other – which they are!
Commedia dell’Arte is very physical theatre where masks force actors to project their characters’ emotions through the body. The characters employ leaps, tumbles, stock gags (Lazzi), large gestures and slapstick antics. Also known as “Italian comedy,” Commedia dell’Arte was a humorous theatrical presentation performed by professional players who traveled in troupes throughout Italy in the 16th century. Despite its outward spirit of improvisation, Commedia dell’Arte is a highly disciplined art that requires a strong sense of ensemble.
In preparation for directing The Servant of Two Masters, Lavinia Hart and dance choreographer Nira Pullin headed to London, England over the summer to study with world-renowned Commedia expert Barry Grantham. Grantham’s famous workshops are attended by professional actors, performers, directors and teachers in all forms of theatre from Shakespeare to circus and variety, traditional to cutting- edge, and mime and physical theatre. Hart has also teamed up with well known local physical comedian Rick Carver. Carver specializes in physical comedy techniques like juggling, pantomime, stilt walking, and tumbling. He has been working side by side with the actors during the rehearsal process to assist with tumbling, juggling and physically demanding scenes.
The Servant of Two Masters includes all the stock characters audiences familiar with Commedia have become accustomed to. For those new to the genre, there is something for everyone, including high comedy, romance, fast-paced choreography, local culture and stunning scenery, costume, lighting and sound design.
Opening Night Reception:
Don’t miss an evening of pure entertainment and great food on Friday January 15, 2010. A strolling pre-show performance by physical comedian Rick Carver will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Hilberry Lobby. Following the performance, enjoy music, free food provided by Mario’s Restaurant and meet the actors from the show! All included in your ticket price.
During the Run:
Bring your ticket to Mario’s located at 4222 Second Avenue for a 15% discount on your entrée and enjoy a free round-trip shuttle to the Hilberry Theatre for the show. Call 313-832-1616 to make your dinner reservations (mariosdetroit.com).
The cast includes:
Jason Cabral (Arlecchino), Christopher R. Ellis (Pantalone), Lorelei Sturm (Clarice), Andrew Papa (Doctor Paedagogus), Erman Jones (Silvio), Sara Hymes (Beatrice Rasponi), Jordan Whalen (Florindo Aretusi), Safiya Johnson (Mama Grisanti), Christina Flynn (Columbina), Alan Ball* (Zanni); Rob Pantano (Zanni); Carollette Phillips (Zanni); Peter Prouty (Zanni); Samantha L. Rosentrater (Zanni); Brian P. Sage (Zanni); Dave Toomey (Zanni); Justin Vanden Heuvel (Zanni).
The creative team includes:
Lavinia Hart (Director), Brian P. Sage (Assistant Director), Don Hunter (Production Stage Manager), Nira Pullin (Choreographer), Alan Ball (Fight Choreographer), Cara Ward (Costume Designer), Christopher Otwell (Scenic and Properties Designer), Jon Weaver (Lighting Designer), Rudolph C. Schuepbach (Technical Director), Jim Costello (Sound Designer), Rob Pantano (Zanni dialect coach), Jeremy Ryan Mossman (Singing Coach), Rick Carver (Physical Comedy Advisor), and Dr. Thomas Kohn (Latin Translations).