The Dress Circle - Stylish and Intriguing.

Bob and Karen Isaacs

BOB: The Westport Country Playhouse is producing one of the most revived of W. Somerset Maugham's plays. It is The Circle and I thought we were in for a weighty sort of work -- but it was a delight.

KAREN: It truly is. It is a stylish production directed by Nicholas Martin. This is a drawing room comedy that takes place in the 1920's.  many years ago, Lord Champion-Cheney was abandoned by his wife, Lady Catherine, who ran off to Italy with her lover. Bring matters full circle, his stuffy son Arnold is now involved in a love triangle of his own as his bored wife is smitten with a handsome house guest. The Circle explores how history often is destined to repeat itself.  Adding a little extra splash to this whole thing, the young wife has invited Lady Catherine and her lover to be house guests.

BOB:  I tell you -- one of our favorite actors is in this - Paxton Whitehead

KAREN: Paxton Whitehead should be declared a national treasure.

BOB:  He plays Lord Champion-Cheney and everything he does is just perfect -- the way he looks

KAREN: He was abandoned by his wife and he sees his son in the same position

BOB: and gives him advice

KAREN: which almost works -- but we won't say more than that.

BOB: You will love this production.

KAREN:  Marsha Mason plays the ex-wife, Lady Catherine Champion-Cheney and she is very good. It is not an easy role, because Lady Catherine is not endearing

BOB:  at least not in the beginning.

KAREN: In fact the entire cast is excellent. It has a beautiful set of the drawing room

BOB: Alexander Dodge did an exquisite job -- you feel like you should applaud. The costumes and lighting are also excellent.

KAREN: You will have a good time. Is it meaningful?  I'm not sure. There are some serious moments. You may debate if the young wife made the right choice. I'm not sure I understood her attraction to the other man. I wasn't sure what the allure was

BOB: He played tennis

KAREN: May be. The Circle is at the Westport Country Playhouse  through June 25.

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