The Rivals at A.C.T, Scene 2.

As I mentioned on Saturday, Ying and I went to see The Rivals, a laugh-out-loud comedy you may not be familiar with, but which has probably influenced you. It’s the play by Richard Sheridan that introduced Mrs. Malaprop, the woman who constantly used the wrong words, to hilarious effect.

For example, “She’s as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile” instead of “alligator” or “He is the very pineapple of politeness!” rather than “pinnacle”. It was a fun play, and Ying and I chuckled often. The play is in the public domain, so you can read it for free online.

René Augesen, one of A.C.T.’s core actors gets better and better in every play I see her in and was delightful here as Lydia Languish. Her fellow core actor Gregory Wallace (as Faulkland), while an actor with great stage presence, seems to be doing the same character in each of the roles I’ve seen of him. I was also impressed by both Anthony Fusco as Jack Absolute and Charles Dean as Sir Anthony Absolute. Fusco, in particular was very good, and he and Augesen played well opposite each other.

Seeing shows like The Rivals reminds me of why I enjoy having this subscription. While I was familiar with the character of Mrs. Malaprop in a very general sense, I was unaware of the play itself, and would likely have passed on purchasing tickets specifically for it.

It’s likely I will renew first thing on Monday, for two reasons: there’s a deadline to guarantee my current seats, and I identified three plays from the 2006-2007 season I’d want to see:

  1. Travesties, because it’s by Tom Stoppard
  2. Hedda Gabler, because it’s by Henrik Ibsen
  3. The Imaginary Invalid, because it’s by Moliere and stars René Auberjonois

I figure if I’d want to see half the plays, and would enjoy one or two others if I saw them, well then I might as well go all the way in. More as it develops.