Our good friends at the Metropolitan Playhouse have mounted a brilliantly directed production of Royall Tyler’s 1787 play The Contrast — the first play by an American playwright to be staged by a professional company. It debuted at the John Street Theater downtown, the city’s principal theater prior to the opening of the Park in 1798.
I’ll have more to write about the play and its significance — and about this staging — later. For now I’ll just say that the folks at Metropolitan have found much more humor in the play than I’ve ever read there, having taught it a dozen times and written about it in my contribution to our forthcoming Companion. Lines I never noticed before are side-splitting. The main performances are outstanding. So mind the main chance: get out an see it. It’s a rare treat to have the opportunity.
If you’re inclined to listen to me ramble about it, I’ll be talking with the audience following the matinee this Sunday. Info on tickets here.