The attempted seduction of Mr. Pinchwife's pretty new country bride by a fellow named Horner, in The Country Wife, will be seen anew under the direction of classical actor-director Keith Baxter in Washington DC, March 28-May 14.
Baxter, a Broadway and regional acting vet, will make his American directing debut with William Wycherley's Restoration comedy, at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC.
The British actor appeared in Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice for DC artistic director Michael Kahn, and is a veteran of the British stage and Broadway. He played Horner opposite Maggie Smith in 1969.
He has directed in London's West End (Rope, The Red Devil Battery Sign, Gaslight, Dangerous Corner), but never before in the U.S.
Leigh Lawson will play Horner and Tessa Auberjonois will play the title character, Margery Pinchwife. Both are making their Shakespeare Theatre debuts. Auberjonois is the daughter of well-known character actor Rene Auberjonois. The company includes David Sabin, Elizabeth Meadows Rouse, Robin Moseley, Helen Hedman, June Hansen, Ted van Griethuysen, Emery Battis, Andrew Long, Elizabeth Long, Floyd King, Gregory Woodell and Lisa Walsh.
Designers are Simon Higlett (set), Robert Perdziola (costumes) and Peter West (lighting). Robert Waldman (Lincoln Center's The Heiress, Ivanov, A Fair Country) composed original music.
Official opening is April 3.
Tickets are $14-$58. The Shakespeare Theatre is at 450 7th St. NW. call (202) 547-1122.
-- By Kenneth Jones