In French dramatist Jean Anouilh's scintillating 1958 play, The Rehearsal, a group of amateur thespians rehearses a production of Marivaux's 18th-century The Double Inconstancy, which offers a skewed mirror image of their world, and provides a pretext for Soojin Lee's lavish Louis XVth costumes. The Count (Robertson Dean), known as Tiger, and his wife Eliane (Susan Angelo), devote their lives to pleasure. He has a mistress (Jill Hill), and she has a lover (Steve Coombs). Also in attendance is Hero (Geoff Elliott), Tiger's boyhood friend, now a destructive, cynical drunk. Eager to seduce the young governess, Lucile (Lenne Klingaman), Tiger casts her in the play's ingénue role. To his own astonishment, he falls deeply in love, for the first time in his life, and she returns his love. But passion and sincerity offer profound threats to their shallow, hedonistic world, and the others join forces to destroy this dangerous love, with Hero assigned to deliver the cruel coup-de-grace. Director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott gives this richly textured and sophisticated play a brilliant, handsome and finely honed production laced with splendid performances. Special kudos for Elliott's detailed, deeply felt Hero. A Noise Within, 234 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale; in rep, call for schedule; through May 24. (818) 240-0901, Ext. 1.
Sat., April 18, 8 p.m.; Sun., April 19, 2 p.m.; Sat., May 2, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., May 10, 2 & 7 p.m.; May 13-15, 8 p.m.; May 21-23, 8 p.m.; May 23-24, 2 p.m., 2009
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