David Harbour (far left) is the central love object of Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love, which opened March 29 at the Lyceum Theatre. Harbour, pictured with fello cast member Neal Dodson, plays the Oxford athlete Moses Jackson,the lifelong love of poet A.E. Housman'a life. Also in the cast are Michael Stuhlbarg who plays Alfred William Pollard and Mireille Enos, who is Katharine Housman, sister to the poet.
The Invention of Love has as its central character the conservative, not to say dour, 19th century English poet and scholar A.E. Housman (1859-1936). Stoppard's story begins with Housman, old and infirm, dreaming he is dead and being ferried across the river Styx by the mythical boatman Charon. Housman is best known for his collection of poems titled "A Shropshire Lad." Through his melancholy, longing poetry—according to Invention of Love production notes—he expressed his lifelong unrequited passion for a fellow student at Oxford, Moses Jackson. Robert Sean Leonard and Richard Easton play Housman young and old, respectively.