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Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Time Event
7:59p
Renaissance Theatreworks, “Lettice and Lovage”
Saturday, May 2nd, we went to the Studio Theater at the Broadway Theatre Center to see “Lettice and Lovage,” by Peter Shaffer.

In this comedy, the protagonist, “Lettice” (pronounced“lettuce”), played by Laura Gordon, is a woman of a certain age beginning second career as a docent/tour guide, after having managed her mother’s Shakespearian theatre troupe for many years. Working for Britain’s National Trust, she is assigned to “Fustian Hall,” the country’s dullest stately home. In reaction to audience boredom, she begins to embroider the house’s bald narrative, until it becomes a veritable tapestry of historical improbability.

A surprise inspection by her supervisor, Lotte Schoen (Carrie Hitchcock) results in Lettice being given the sack, but not before she makes her impassioned case for injecting a bit of theatre into the dullness of life. This eventually leads to an unlikely friendship striking up between the flamboyant Lettice and strait-laced Lotte, which leads both to some harrowing adventures in home theatricals, and the sharing of deeply hidden secrets.

How it all works out is quite hilarious, and we found it tube a charming little play. The story belongs to the two ladies, and both Gordon, the current grande dame of the Milwaukee theatre scene, and Hitchcock are wonderfully good. They are ably supported by Bryce Lord as Lettice’s baffled solicitor, and a supporting cast of minor bureaucrats and house tourists.

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