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Rivera Tears it Up in Guthrie Servant of Two Masters

Rivera Tears it Up in Guthrie Servant of Two Masters

: Courtesy of the Guthrie Theater.

Don Darryl Rivera [TH ’06] is a proven master of physical comedy; he’s taken the skill to the Guthrie in The Servant of Two Masters.

PICTURE: Overlay of Don Darryl Rivera & The cast of The Servant of Two Masters at the Guthrie Theater; photos courtesy of the Guthrie.

When it comes to physical comedy, the commedia dell’arte is the last word. Carlo Goldoni’s 1743 play The Servant of Two Masters is about as close as it’s possible to get to the unscripted experience of the commedia putting ink on page. Cornish grad Don Darryl Rivera is playing the dottore (doctor) in the Guthrie’s production, a freewheeling adaptation that is very much in the improvisational mode of the ancient form. This is the same show that played like gangbusters at the Yale Rep, and it’s getting the same notice in Minneapolis. John Olive of How’s the Show wrote “the actors begin to act, and the play starts with a vengeance.  Holy moley these artists are terrific.” When Olive he says of the performers “Everyone is a marvel,” it’s Don Darryl who’s first on his list, “the roly-poly Il Dottore with the oversized belly and the Rudolph the Reindeer nose.”

The Guthrie writes of the production: “Direct from critically acclaimed runs at Yale Repertory and Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Servant of Two Masters arrives at the Guthrie under the direction of former Guthrie company member Christopher Bayes, starring Steven Epp (Theatre de la Jeune Lune) as the wily servant Truffaldino and Guthrie favorite Sarah Agnew as the strong-willed Beatrice. A high-flung/low-brow comedy about a hungry servant who hatches a scheme to double his wages (and his meals) by serving two masters at once.” The Servant of Two Masters, they say is a “bawdy, always charming hit The Washington Post hailed as a ‘bowlful of joy!’”

Since his graduation from Cornish with a B.F.A. in 2006, Don Darryl has become a mainstay at the Seattle Children’s Theatre, the perfect place to hone comic skills before the most discriminating audience possible. “Kids laugh because Don Darryl Rivera… is a master of physical comedy and really understands what children find funny,” Seattle’s Child Magazine has said of his work. At SCT he played in Harold and the Purple Crayon, Lyle the Crocodile, I Was a Rat, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, The Wizard of Oz and Disney’s High School Musical. He’s also been seen at the 5th Avenue Theatre, Taproot and Chicago Children’s Theatre. For the kind of period experience he’s put to use in The Servant of Two Masters, Don Darryl played in Molière’s A Doctor in Spite of Himself at Intiman and in Much Ado About Nothing and The Comedy of Errors at Seattle Shakespeare Company. His work has been recognized with a 2011 Seattle Times Footlight Award and a 2009 TPS Gregory Award as “Someone to Watch.”

The Servant of Two Masters plays through January 20 at the Guthrie. MORE INFORMATION.

Here’s a sample of the action, in this Guthrie video:


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