The Pearl Theatre of Off-Broadway will open its new production of William Congreve's classic, The Way of the World, on March 19. The comedy has been in previews since March 10.
Written in 1700, The Way of the World was Congreve's last work (though he would live another 30 years) and is generally appraised as the best of the Restoration comedies. Filled with the usual array of poseurs, connivers and wits -- including the man-hungry dowager, Lady Wishfort -- the play centers on the amorous tug of war between Mirabell and Millament.
The last major production of World was at the Public Theater. A modern dress, very "downtown" production directed by David Greenspan, it featured Andre Braugher as Mirabell, Jayne Atkinson as Millament and Ruth Maleczech as Lady Wishfort.
Ray Virta will direct the Pearl production. Among the players are Pearl regulars Robin Leslie Brown, Joanne Camp, Carol Schultz and John Wylie.
The Pearl is located at 80 St. Mark's Place in the East Village. For information, call (212) 598-9802. --By Robert Simonson