Worldly Matters -- It's a 300-year-old British play, heavy on plot and legal terminology, with everyone standing around, trying to be hyper-clever in every line. Still, William Congreve's The Way of the World, in Diana Trotter's production at Whitworth College, will be worth savoring both for its characters and for one particularly famous scene. For example, Lady Wishfort, a crone who observes others in love and tends perpetually to "wish for it" herself, wears so much makeup that one character sums her up as "the antidote to desire."
Congreve created clever servants, country bumpkins and scheming villains as background for the central witty couple, Mr. Mirabell (the lover of beauty) and Mistress Millamant (the woman with a thousand lovers). In the "proviso scene," they stipulate long lists of demands before they will agree to marry. Millamant finally succumbs to Mirabell's entreaties, admitting with feigned reluctance that "if I continue to endure you a little longer, I may by degrees dwindle into a wife." The play runs for four shows only, April 11-13. Call: 777-3707.
Mr. Green's Visiting Hours -- And here's some more theater buzz: just three days before opening night, Coeur d'Alene's Ed Cornachio, one of just two cast members for Interplayers' production of Visiting Mr. Green, was stricken with a heart attack. Ed is going to be just fine, we're happy to report -- but the show must go on.
Into the breach has leaped Jack Phillips, executive director of the Spokane Civic Theater, who first stepped into the role in front of a live audience on Tuesday, working on just five days' notice. Official opening night is Saturday night, April 13. Best wishes to Ed for a quick recovery, and to Jack for some quick memorization.
Packed House -- We can't remember who coined the phrase "like a dog on a leash in a small room full of live squirrels," but that's exactly what finger-style guitarist Dan Schwartz's performance last Thursday was like. Schwartz performed at the Shop, and the small stage there was threatening to come apart at the seams. Schwartz uses nothing but a six-string and his voice, but between the two it sounded like an entire orchestra was performing. He did songs from his newest CD, Dan Schwartz, and a few covers spanning about four decades and, oh, about eight genres. He was amazing, and the Shop was full of appreciative fans. Boy, we can' t wait until the weather gets nice enough for them to keep the garage doors open up there.