Shakespeare Theatre Presents: The Servant of Two Masters
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - Sunday, June 24, 2012
Delightful and delicious, The Servant of Two Masters is filled to the brim with music, dance and laughter. Mayhem erupts when a wily
servant hatches a crafty scheme to double his wages by serving two masters
It is a bright morning in Venice, and the young couple, Silvio and
Clarice, has just been given permission to marry. Clarice had previously
been engaged to another man, Federigo Rasponi, but his sudden death has
freed her to marry her true love. Clarice's father Pantalone, Silvio's
father Doctor Lombardi and the innkeeper Brighella stand by as
witnesses. A knock at the door interrupts the happy scene. Smeraldina,
Clarice's maid, brings in Truffaldino, a quirky servant with disastrous
news—his master, Federigo Rasponi, isn't dead after all! And he's here
in Venice! A man enters, declaring himself to be Federigo Rasponi and
demanding to marry Clarice. Pantalone feels obliged to uphold the
original engagement, much to the distress of his daughter, Silvio and
Meanwhile, the innkeeper Brighella draws Federigo
aside—and reveals that he recognizes Federigo's true identity. The
person dressed as Federigo is actually Beatrice, Federigo's sister.
Federigo was indeed killed in a duel by Beatrice's fiancé, Florindo, who
then fled to Venice. Beatrice has followed him, hoping to collect her
brother's money from Pantalone. Outside the inn, the always-hungry
Truffaldino waits in the street fantasizing about food. His master
Federigo—who he has no idea is really Beatrice—doesn't feed him nearly
enough. Therefore, he decides that the best course would be to find
another master to serve as well. Two masters, double the food! At just
this moment a man enters, struggling with his luggage: it is Florindo.
Truffaldino offers to serve him, and Florindo agrees. The servant
Truffaldino now has two masters.
Truffaldino's first job for his
masters is to go to the post office for their mail. Unfortunately,
Truffaldino can't read, and the letters get mixed up. Florindo reads
Beatrice's letter and learns that she's in Venice dressed as a man.
Delighted, he runs off to find her. Pantalone arrives with a bag of
money, which he hands to Truffaldino for his "master." Truffaldino
doesn't know which "master" Pantalone means and mistakenly gives it to
Florindo, though it was intended for Federigo. Meanwhile, Clarice begs
her father to release her from the engagement to Federigo. The disguised
Beatrice arrives and asks to speak with Clarice in private. Once they
are alone, Beatrice reveals her true identity. Clarice is greatly
relieved and tells her father that she will now consent to marry
"Federigo." Unfortunately, Silvio doesn't know the happy news. Enraged
at the loss of his love, he attacks Pantalone and accuses Clarice of
being faithless. Deeply hurt, Clarice prepares to kill herself. Luckily,
her maid Smeraldina arrives just in time to stop her.
it's time for lunch. Both Florindo and "Federigo" order their meals at
the same time, and Truffaldino finds himself in a jam. Can he keep both
masters satisfied while also finding time to stuff his own face?
Smeraldina arrives, and Truffaldino, who had previously noticed the
pretty maid, declares his love for her. He discovers that she feels the
same. More mix-ups lead Beatrice and Florindo to believe that the other
one is dead. In despair, they run out of the inn at the same time, ready
to take their own lives. But just as they are about to plunge in the
knives, they see... each other! They embrace, delirious with joy. Silvio
and Clarice are reunited, and even Truffaldino is forgiven for daring
to try to serve two masters at once. Oh, happiness, once more!
To find out more, visit SheakespeareTheatre.org.