Stoppard's comic crucible orbits around Henry Carr, a faceless diplomat located in early-20th-century Zurich, who imagines he personally knew Dadaist exponent Tristan Tzara, novelist James Joyce and Communist leader Lenin—all of whom lived in Zurich for a time.
Another indirect resident of the play is Oscar Wilde, whose play The Importance of Being Earnest gives two other characters their names: Cecily and Gwendolyn. Together, they are tossed in one of Stoppard's typically cerebral dramatic salads.
Garrison (Titanic, The Family of Mann) plays the deluded Carr. Stuhlbarg (The Invention of Love) is the dandyish and outrageous Tzara. Spinella (Angels in America, James Joyce's The Dead) is the gnomic Joyce. Lynn Collins and Kali Rocha (The Altruists) are Gwendolyn and Cecily, respectively. Gregor Paslawsky plays the earnest Lenin. Rounding out the cast are Herb Foster and Candy Buckley (A View of the Dome, Cabaret). Gregory Boyd directs.
The original Broadway production played the Barrymore Theatre for 156 performances during the 1975-76 season. John Wood and Tim Curry starred. The work won that year's Tony Award for Best Play. Wood also won. It has never been revived on Broadway.
For information, call (413) 597-3399. The remaining Williamstown schedule, at a glance, runs as follows:
Under Milk Wood, July 23-Aug. 3
Travesties, Aug. 6-17
An Enemy of the People, Aug. 20-24
Mother of Invention, July 16-27
The Lake, July 30-Aug. 10
The Chekhov Cycle, Aug. 12-17