Two Tom Stoppard one-act comedies, The Real Inspector Hound (1968) and After Magritte (1970), will serve as the holiday offering of the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara, Dec. 6-Dec. 29.
After Magritte concerns a misadventurous husband and wife dance team, their mother-in-law, and an incompetent Scotland Yard investigator. The zaniness begins when the tuba-playing old woman confuses inspector Maigret with surrealist painter, Rene Magritte.
The Real Inspector Hound offers two critics watching, commenting on, and ultimately taking part in an Agatha Christie-like, staged murder mystery. This play opened in London June 17, 1968 and ran six months. Magritte and Hound were first double-billed in London in 1972.
Robert Grande-Weiss, artistic director of Ensemble Theatre Company, will direct the family-safe show. James Brodhead (last seen in ETC's The Little Foxes and Christopher Vore (ETC's All In The Timing play the critics in Hound. Other performers include Kathy Bell-Denton, Gretchen Evans and Kevin Murphy (who plays Hound).
Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara is the area's first resident professional theatre company. They perform at the Alhecama Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara.
For tickets ($18-$23) to After Magritte and The Real Inspector Hound, call (805)962-8606.
-- By David Lefkowitz