All’s fair in love and comedy.
The Metromaniacs written by David Ives, directed by Michael Kahn, and currently being performed by the Shakespeare Theatre Company at the Lansburgh Theatre is a play that revels in artificiality and impersonation. The set opens to an actual staged set; a Parisian ballroom has been transformed to resemble a sylvan glade where wealthy patriarch and would be poet Francalou (Broadway star Adam LeFevre) can stage his new play about his poetry loving daughter Lucille (a great comedic turn by STC vet Amelia Pedlow). In Francalou’s piece, Lucille is impersonated by the down to earth family maid Lisette (played with considerable charm by Dina Thomas).
Francalou, unbeknownst to the world at large, has been passing himself off as a poetess from Brittany in order to get his work published. His verses have inflamed the passions of young Damis (Christian Conn as a lovable geek) who is visiting Francalou incognito, along with school friend Dorante (Anthony Roach from The Importance of Being Earnest), who’s carrying a torch for Lucille, though she has come to love Damis from his poems.
Basically it’s a typical madcap French farce made up of misunderstandings, false identities, and young lovers who change their affections at a moment’s notice. In fact, keeping up with everyone’s dual roles could take a Venn diagram. What’s noteworthy here, besides the caliber of the performances, is that Ives has written the whole piece in rhyming verse; something that was common enough at one time but rarely seen in modern contemporary works. No one would accuse The Metromaniacs of being deep, but it’s a good light weight lark of a production.
Photos by Scott Suchman:
1. Dina Thomas as Lisette and Adam LeFevre as Francalou
2. Christian Conn as Damis and Anthony Roach as Dorante
3. Amelia Pedlow as Lucille
Shakespeare Theatre Company
450 Seventh Street, NW