The Beaux' Stratagem
While all stage works take time to develop, a 67-year development cycle would test even the most lenient boundaries of a producer's patience. To be fair, the lengthy gestation period behind The Beaux' Stratagem can be explained by the project being shelved for decades. Written in 1707 by Irish playwright George Farquhar, The Beaux' Stratagem was one of the last of the Restoration comedies, social satires that tended toward lascivious laughs and salacious storylines. When the indecorous comedy style fell out of favor, The Beaux' Stratagem was lost to history until Thornton Wilder decided to dust off the work for a planned 1939 adaptation. Unfortunately Wilder never finished the project, leaving the manuscript dormant until contemporary playwright Ken Ludwig was brought in to complete the work in 2006. Led by a refurbished treatment that streamlines the humor for modern sensibilities while retaining the raucous spirit of the original text, The Beaux' Stratagem follows two disreputable London gentlemen who conspire to seduce the wealthy heiresses living throughout the provinces. The scheme of these two would-be womanizers is immediately beset, however, by a series of escalating complications involving false identities, conniving highwaymen, and possessive dowagers. Featuring an ensemble cast of 18, this Daniel Ellis-directed production should leave the Theatre in the Round spinning with the propulsive force of properly bawdy romantic chaos. (Photo by Ron Ravensborg)
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: May 30. Continues through June 22, 2014
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