The Boys from Syracuse


Writers: George Abbott Richard Rodgers Lorenz Hart William Shakespeare


Show Information

Based On Book By
Based on the Play/Book/Film
The Comedy of Errors
Number of Acts
First Produced
Comedy, Farce
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
Ancient Ephesus, Ancient Greece, Ancient Turkey, Greco-Roman colony, 200 BCE, 100 BCE
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Some Dance
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, High School, Large Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, mature adult, late teen, early teen characters


Boy loses twin. Boy seeks twin. Boy finds trouble. When Antipholus of Syracuse leaves his home, with his trusty servant Dromio in tow, and spends seven years searching for his long-lost twin brother, he finds his life in danger upon arriving in the city of Ephesus. With Ephesus and Syracuse at war, the travelers try to tread carefully, and make plans to leave as soon as possible. Their attempts to escape from Ephesus go awry when strange things start to happen: the local merchants and craftsmen demand payment for pre-ordered wares, a high-born lady and her lusty cook claim them for husbands, the local courtesans greet them like old friends, and everyone knows their name. When prominent citizen Antipholus of Ephesus sets out, with his faithful servant Dromio in tow, for another day on the town, buying gifts of gold and jewels for his favorite Courtesan, strange things start to happen: the Tailor claims he took two suits when he only took one, the Goldsmith claims he never paid for the gold chain he never received, and when he finally goes home to dinner, his wife locks him out of the house, claiming that he is already by her side. Before brothers are reunited, debts paid, lovers matched in twos -- or threes -- and mother and father miraculously found, Antipholus and Dromio -- and Antipholus and Dromio -- run helter-skelter through a hilarious whirlwind of mistaken identities, mistaken affections, and mistaken valuables, aided by the charming courtesans, officious policemen, single-minded merchants, and other denizens of old Ephesus. The Boys from Syracuse, Rodgers and Hart’s tuneful, rollicking, Golden Age take on Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, is a delightful tribute to a classic plot -- old when the Coliseum was young -- and a classic playwright. George Abbott’s fast-paced, funny book brings a mischievous 1930s urban flavor to the story, and the score swings with standards such as “Falling in Love With Love”, “This Can’t Be Love”, and “Sing for Your Supper.”

Lead Characters

The Boys from Syracuse guide sections