IBJOpinion

LOU'S VIEWS: Early Noel Coward play suddenly back in vogue

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Lou Harry

When regional theaters around the country start to gravitate toward a particular play, it’s tempting to play psychologist/sociologist and try to figure out why.

I’m not talking about theaters claiming the latest hot play. I have no doubt why every company seems to be doing “August: Osage County” or “God of Carnage” these days.
 

ae-main-1col.jpg Two women imbibe while awaiting the arrival of a former lover in the IRT’s “Fallen Angels.” (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Rather, I’m talking about plays that are plucked from the archives of theater history to become semi-hot again. Consider Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “Julius Caesar,” both of which have shown up in theaters with more frequency the last few years for no obvious reason.

It’s happened recently with the early Noel Coward play “Fallen Angels,” which is being done at the Indiana Repertory Theatre (through May 20) after recently being seen at Asolo Rep in Florida, Theatre Memphis, Philly’s Walnut Street Theatre and more. It’s like when a not-particularly-ground-breaking toy becomes all the rage during the holiday shopping season.

To be sure, there’s fun to be had in “Fallen Angels,”

which concerns a pair of London gal pals who have in common marriages in need of spark and a past hot-and-heavy relationship with the same man.

The impending re-entry of that French lover into their lives (while their husbands are away golfing) sparks an evening of escalating, anticipatory drinking, which takes up much of the second of three short acts. I’ll leave the will-they-or-won’t-they to your discovery.

Fluff like this requires near-brilliant comic acting to make it feel like more than a three-episode sitcom arc. The IRT has pulled together a fine-but-not special production, with Steve Haggard doing the most with the least as husband Fred and Cristina Panfilio giving terrific physicality to wife/hostess Julia (her arms always seem to be creatively in motion, particularly when she gets her drink on). Director William Brown, who so deftly paced last season’s “Around the World in 80 Days” here, is confined to a living room but still effectively keeps things moving.

So why the recent run on “Fallen Angels”—beyond the opportunity to sell it as a precursor to “Desperate Housewives”? It’s playful. It’s simple. It’s got a small cast and a single set. Perhaps it speaks to a yearning we have for a time in our lives when we were actually capable of doing anything scandalous.

Or perhaps smartly written drunk scenes are just fun to watch.

Cheers.•

__________

This column appears weekly. Send information on upcoming arts and entertainment events to lharry@ibj.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. By the way, the right to work law is intended to prevent forced union membership, not as a way to keep workers in bondage as you make it sound, Italiano. If union leadership would spend all of their funding on the workers, who they are supposed to be representing, instead of trying to buy political favor and living lavish lifestyles as a result of the forced membership, this law would never had been necessary.

  2. Unions once served a noble purpose before greed and apathy took over. Now most unions are just as bad or even worse than the ills they sought to correct. I don't believe I have seen a positive comment posted by you. If you don't like the way things are done here, why do you live here? It would seem a more liberal environment like New York or California would suit you better?

  3. just to clear it up... Straight No Chaser is an a capella group that formed at IU. They've toured nationally typically doing a capella arangements of everything from Old Songbook Standards to current hits on the radio.

  4. This surprises you? Mayor Marine pulled the same crap whenhe levered the assets of the water co up by half a billion $$$ then he created his GRAFTER PROGRAM called REBUILDINDY. That program did not do anything for the Ratepayors Water Infrastructure Assets except encumber them and FORCE invitable higher water and sewer rates on Ratepayors to cover debt coverage on the dough he stole FROM THE PUBLIC TRUST. The guy is morally bankrupt to the average taxpayer and Ratepayor.

  5. There is no developer on the planet that isn't aware of what their subcontractors are doing (or not doing). They hire construction superintendents. They have architects and engineers on site to observe construction progress. If your subcontractor wasn't doing their job, you fire them and find someone who will. If people wonder why more condos aren't being built, developers like Kosene & Kosene are the reason. I am glad the residents were on the winning end after a long battle.

ADVERTISEMENT