Tuesday, November 24, 2015
"A Servant To Two Masters" at the PPT
We took in the second play of the Pittsburgh Public Theater's 2015-16 season the other night. It is "A Servant to Two Masters". It is a comedy written in 1764 in Italy by a playwright named Carlo Goldoni. It is an example of the type pf theatrical production called commedia dell'arte, a term that I remember from college literature classes, but which I could certainly not define today. Anyway, if the idea of a European play written 251 years ago is turning you off, don't let it do so. (The PPT program describes Carlo Goldoni as "a sort of 18th century Judd Apatow", so that should give you an idea of what you are in for.)
The plot of the play is kind of hard to summarize - mistaken identity, double dealing, sexual innuendo, and farce are just a few concepts that spring to mind. The Sproule jury offered a split decision on the play. Marilyn thought that it was "just okay". I thought it was very funny. In fact, I was laughing out loud in several parts of the show.
As is usual with the PPT, this is excellently staged with a lively and attractive cast. The central character, the "servant" of the title, is Truffaldino, as played by Jimmy Kieffer,
is loud, boisterous, funny, and a wonderful character. This was Kieffer's first appearance with the PPT, and I hope that he will become a regular there in future productions. He was really good in the role.
And the show ends with a rousing cast and audience sing-along of a song that will make you leave the theater feeling good.
The play runs through December 6 at he O'Reilly Theater, and I would recommend it with three stars (out of four).