David Cromer plays “Antipholus” of Syracuse in SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS’ The Comedy of Errors opening this Friday, August 3 at the Laguna Hills Community Center.
What sort of person is going to love this show?
Anyone who thinks that a wedding would be improved by a laugh track and no moment is too serious for a pratfall.
What’s challenging about bringing this script to life?
The challenge for me is that I’ve always played a very specific sort of role in very specific sorts of plays. The focus of this play is not on an emotionally catastrophic clash of personalities or circumstance, nor do we dive too deep into the meaning of love, betrayal, companionship; no one is brutally murdered. That’s a shift in my experience.
This means that a singular amount of energy must be put into the individual moments of the show. Making each of them their own fully formed beginning, middle and end. Making them carry themselves through the innumerable skits and sketches that weave this absurd plot together. In short, making them what I am told should be called “funny”.
Why did you want to be involved in SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS?
When they removed the bear trap from my ankle I was informed that I had a choice between a future in the theatre or something called “The Trial of Seven Scarves”. I’ve never been able to properly work a scarf, I blame a lack of British ancestry, so here I am.
In Addition to that, Aurora is a wonderful artistic partner and a talented director. Working with her is an informative, engaging, delightful experience. Memories of this honestly stated honor will last a while longer than the trap scars.
How is this production bringing something new to this story?
The vaudevillian theme is a wonderful addition. Taking the very segmented humor of this play and putting them into the context of a variety show works extremely well. It showcases the tone of each scene on it’s own while painting the larger picture in the background, and allows the comedy to shine and connect with the audience in a way that is colorful, unpredictable, and entirely unique.
Call someone out by name: who must come see this production?
You know who you are. You always know.
How is this character like you? Different?
Antipholus is a relatably clueless opportunist who bumbles his way through one poor decision after another and, at the end, still manages to meet his original stated goal. In this way he’s… Huh. I may need to rethink some things.
To be entirely honest I do see a bit of myself in the character. He is a romantic who is surprised by romance. A fool and an odd sort of friend. A man on a mission who gives into the world around him perhaps just a bit too easily. How is he different? For one, I am far better looking. And… well, just about everything else.
What do you love about this character?
I love the freedom his foolishness allows. It is a change of pace and not necessarily comfortable at all times but the shift is refreshing. You don’t get to harness your inner fool nearly often enough when the world is marred by silly things like public decency laws.
What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?
Letting myself try to be funny as someone who isn’t me. I’m not funny. I mean, I’m funny when I’m myself, but I’m pretty terrible at being another funny person in addition. I like to think I’ve accomplished about 15% of another funny person with this part and for that achievement I’m pretty proud.
Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?
Paul Giamatti. I want to see how this character could possibly make me ponder the bittersweet nature of life’s misfortunes.
Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue?
“If she lives till doomsday, she’ll burn a week longer than the whole world.”
If you could play any other Shakespeare character, who would it be?
Right now I have aspirations towards the titular “Macbeth”. What can I say, I’d love to do another comedy.
When did you first perform?
A musical with my church entitled “The Grumpy Shepherd”. I… was said shepherd. I’ve been typecast ever since.
Besides this one, what’s your favorite stage show?
That is incredibly hard to narrow down. To make it easier on myself I’m going to restrict the answer to Shakespeare plays in which case I have an easy answer: Tempest.
Who do you look up to (as an actor/director/etc.)?
The irreplaceable Aurora, what with her vision and respect for pandering and clever use of outdated bear trapping methods to hunt the ultimate game.
I have trouble answering this one with any sort of accuracy. The fact of the matter is that I look up to anyone who can make this pursuit of artistic truth their life’s ambition and labor. I’m also terrible with names, so you’ll have to settle with a wide blanket of respect.
When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?
Attempting to replace the 4lbs 7oz of water weight I’ve lost in the last hour. Cracking (un)wise. General hijinx sprinkled with productivity.
Who’s the funniest person in the cast in real life?
I’m going to have to go with Kaitlin.
What do you do when you’re not doing theatre?
Plotting, scheming, creating. In general.
If you had a magic wand, what show would you do next?
If I had a magic wand, the next show I did would be a press conference to reveal my arcanic might and declare myself ruler over the mystic arts and mortal realms. Probably Tempest after that.
What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage?
Repeat a continual stream of increasingly creative curses and imagine the worst thing that could possibly go wrong. Then, you know, make funny.
ACTOR’S BIO: David Cromer – Antipholus of Syracuse
David Cromer is a recreational performer at best whose credits include more that he would prefer be forgotten than he’d like to be remembered. Among the latter are recent endeavors, including “Claudius” in Hamlet, “Brutus” in Julius Caesar, “Demetrius” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and “Feste” in Twelfth Night.
A passion for the creative arts was sparked at an early age when a song he sang in his youthful falsetto soothed a small child to sleep in her mother’s arms during a church performance. Seeing the sweet peace of music, the power of expression without need for words or comprehension bestowed an understanding. What makes art is a universal energy that manifests before the ability to make a painting or take a step or say a single word. It is an attempt to catch the wonder of curiosity in a teacup, to tame the great ‘What If’s. It is a way to make the world more wonderful.
That sort of nonsense rattling around in his skull, David somehow stumbled twenty-odd more years forward until he landed on stage right around the moment you reach the end of this sentence. He presently manages a fledgling Shakespearean company of his own, BS Theatre. He is also involved with an independent production company, Cidonia Productions, and besides all that is an occasional audience member himself.
This summer, join SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS for Shakespeare’s zany comedy of adventure, mayhem, and mistaken identity! The Comedy of Errors tells the tale of two sets of twins split apart by a tragic shipwreck at a young age. Years later, unbeknownst to them, they have all ended up in the same town, unaware that they are being mistaken for each other.
With vaudeville performance, slapstick humor, immersive staging, and Shakespeare’s comedic writing, this production for all ages is not to be missed!
Bring a blanket or your lawn chair, bring your meal and make it a picnic event for SHAKESPEARE IN THE HILLS‘ outdoor performance presented by On The Edge Theatre Productions. All performances are held at the Laguna Hills Community Center & Sports Complex’s Gazebo and Town Green.
Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase at this family event. All participants of age 12 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are sold (cash only) on the day of the show. You may also purchase your ticket early online (class registration). No refunds or transfers for this event. Call (949) 707-2680 for more information.
Performances @ 7 pm, August 3rd & 4th, 10th & 11th, 17th & 18th. Tickets $10
Age 12 and under free. All participants of age 12 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets are sold (cash only) on the day of the show. You may also purchase your ticket early online (class registration). No refunds or transfers for this event. Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase at this family event. Call 949-707-2680 for more information.
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