Here's something you don't encounter too often in the professional American theater: a full production of a play by G.K. Chesterton. In the nation's capital, the well-regarded Washington Stage Guild is plunging into 2011 with a staging of Chesterton's "Magic," a comedy-of-ideas about an upper-class family that hires a magician for laughs, andends up confronting questions about doubt and faith. According to the company's press release, the play hasn't been staged in the U.S. in decades, though it's never fallen out of favor in England. Alan Wade, who is directing the show for Washington Stage Guild, calls "Magic" "either a light romantic comedy posing as a philosophical debate, or vice-versa, or both" and says parts of it are reminiscent of plays by Noel Coward and George Bernard Shaw. (Washington Stage Guild is known for mounting Shaw's works.)The production isn't running too long, just Jan. 6- Jan. 30, so any Chesterton fans in the area should put it on their calendar soon! I'm going to try to make it the first show I see this year.
Celia Wren is Commonweal’s media and stage critic.