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.