Theatre Review: The Way of the World, by William Congreve

Last weekend, we traveled to the Blackfriar Theatre in Staunton, Virginia to see William Congreve’s Restoration Comedy, The Way of the World.  This is one of those satires on the elite class, who have nothing better to do that gamble with their money and relationships.  You know the sort with allegorical characters names, Foible (Sarah Fallon) the maid who plays one party against the other, Mrs. Marwood (Shunte Lofton), the friend who is marring everyone’s reputation, the Witwood brothers (John Harrell and David Anthony Lewis) and their rakish friend Petulant (Josh Innerst) who idle their time with games, gossip and flirtations, Mr and Mrs Fainall (Christopher Johnston and Lauren Ballard) the unhappily married couple who scheme to blackmail others while trying to seduce other lovers… But, first, we arrived in Staunton without errands to do about an hour early so, we stopped by the Bye and Bye coffee shop for a latte…

While lingering over our cups of latte, we lingered over the news headlines.  This was the same weekend of the Stormy Daniel’s 60 Minute Kiss-and-Tell-All interview, just to set the record straight.  All the news organizations were hyping the story with bits and pieces of gossip, overhead or passed around like hors d’oeurves at a cocktail party at a golf tournament.  Nothing like grilled shrimp and stuff mushroom caps to whet one’s appetite for titillating news about the foibles of the rich, famous, and powerful.  Gosh, did you know that pre-President Trump (who could make up a better name for such a caricature) attended celebrity golf tournaments at which the Wicked Productions porn studio hosted a booth in the venders room complete with stars with names like Stormy and Jenna Talia.  With such names, after party sex parties are bound to ensue, gossips are bound to hide behind curtains, lips will smack, cheeks with blush (all four of them, I’m sure).  And as the climax of the play plays on in Act V, some minute cabinet member will go on the Sunday morning news, completely ignoring the scandal to announce that Trump needs a line-item veto even though the Supreme Court determined that the Constitution prohibits such powers two decades ago.  But, he just needs to get his way.  The stock market tanks, and soars, and tanks and the Trump takes credit for only the middle soaring day, and Press Secretary Sanders (one who smooths off the rough edges) declares that Mexico will pay for the wall…

Now, wasn’t I supposed to write about The Way of the World.  Guess, not much has changed since the play’s first production in 1700.  This is the way of the world.

About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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3 Responses to Theatre Review: The Way of the World, by William Congreve

  1. Laurie Graves says:

    Wonderful post! Oh, the rich and the powerful.They do play their games, don’t they? And, as always, I am green with envy that you are within driving distance of Blackfriar Theater. Maybe someday, Clif and I will make the trek south.

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