Garrett Harris 9:36 a.m., May 20
What if you could drink from a vial and erase a piece of your past? Blot out an untoward error. Try the road not taken. Of course, revising even a smidge of history could have unexpected consequences. Like a "butterfly effect," one small change might cause others.
Frederick Foggerty doesn't care. He's so hooked on Jenny Talbot he'll do anything to win her hand. But Jenny wants a fiancee with a "virgin heart," who has never loved before. And Foggerty? Well, he's already been around a few blocks.
Thanks to a fairy named Rebecca, Foggerty sips an elixir and wipes out an erstwhile love affair. In the process he reshapes the present.
The legendary W.S. Gilbert wrote this comedy in 1881 - apart from his musical collaborator, Sir Arthur Sullivan, with whom he had already worked on many comic operas. The play abounds with Gilbert's sculpted prose style. What it needs, however, is a third act. The first two build on an intriguing premise. The third depletes accumulated energy with static chatter.
Last year the Talent To a Muse Company did a spirited, memorable production of Gilbert's Engaged. Their staging of Foggerty's falls far short of that standard. Almost to a person the cast speaks too quickly. The actors, many going beyond the requisite broadness, garble the words as if desperate to get through them. But the literary style - the wit and, be it said, Gilbert's verbal music - is the show.
The production could be funnier if the cast didn't push the comedy so hard.
Two standouts: George Weinberg-Harter's delightful set, hand-painted flats; and Sandy Hotchkill Gullans' Fairy Rebecca. Actually three different Rebeccas: one speaking French, another German, and the third, Blanche DuBois.