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Clayton State University Opera
Dr. Kurt-Alexander Zeller, director
Presented by the Department of Visual and Performing Arts/Division of Music
The Clayton State Music Drama Workshop presents… “The Boys from Syracuse”
According to Director Dr. Kurt-Alexander Zeller, it’s a BIG show, and the first Music Drama Workshop production with scenery and lighting design work by the new Assistant Professor of Theatre and Technical Director Adam Howarth.
“I think our audiences will really enjoy the zany look that reflects the funhouse-mirror craziness of this farce of multiple mistaken identities!” says Zeller, who also points out that many Clayton State faculty are working with or alongside the students.
In addition to Zeller and Howarth, that includes choreography by Katie Kelly, and many of full-time and part-time Division of Music faculty in the orchestra pit. But, you’d expect that. Maybe you didn’t know that Dr. Joe Johnson, chair of the Humanities Department, is a fine tenor, and will be making his Spivey Hall debut singing the opening number of the show, “I Had Twins!” Rumor also has it that the one-and-only Dr. Jim Braun is going to help out as a consultant to make some of the onstage Sorcerer’s magic tricks work out. Oh yes, Zeller will also sing a small role.
For those unfamiliar with “The Boys from Syracuse,” the Syracuse referenced in the title is the ancient Greek colony in what is present-day Sicily. However, Zeller points out that the action actually is set in Ephesus. According to Zeller, the work is based on Shakespeare’s farce “The Comedy of Errors” and concerns two sets of identical twins (two masters, two servants) from Syracuse who were separated in infancy. The plot involves what happens when the “boys from Syracuse” show up in Ephesus in search of their long-lost brothers.
“Complications ensue — lots of mistaken identities and madcap adventures,” says Zeller.
It’s also interesting to note that many of the tunes in the show will be recognizable to those patrons of a certain age. “Falling in Love with Love,” “This Can’t Be Love (Because I Feel So Well),” and “Shadow on the Sea” have become standards, part of the repertoire of every jazz and pop singer interested in the American Songbook of Tin Pan Alley. In addition, the show’s biggest hit, “Sing for Your Supper,” was a staple of the Andrews Sisters.
In addition to the faculty, the cast will not only include Music majors, but also students majoring in Theatre, Biology, and Management.