You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Celadine

"Celadine," set in 17th century London, follows the timeless structure of Restoration comedy with its concealed identity, ribald humor and courtly intrigue. The play is Charles Evered's final installment of a cloak-and-dagger trilogy, preceded last season with "Wilderness of Mirrors." But in marked contrast to the earlier dark spy caper, "Celadine" is a spirited piece with a goodly share of spice.

With:
Mary - Leslie Lyles Elliot - Matt Pepper Celadine - Amy Irving Jeffrey - Rob Eigenbrod Rowley - Michael Countryman

Premiering at the George Street Playhouse, satirical comic romp “Celadine,” set in 17th century London, follows the timeless structure of Restoration comedy with its concealed identity, ribald humor and courtly intrigue. The play is Charles Evered’s final installment of a cloak-and-dagger trilogy, preceded last season with the George Street presentation of “Wilderness of Mirrors.” But in marked contrast to the earlier dark spy caper, “Celadine” is a spirited piece with a goodly share of spice.

A radiant Amy Irving is playwright Celadine — “the least successful and most brilliant writer in all of England” — who’s also a disarming courtly spy and former king’s mistress.

All tumbling curls and as pretty as a portrait in the Tate, Irving makes her giggling entrance riding piggy-back on a boyish mute she has taken under her protective wing. (As the mute tailor, Rob Eigenbrod has a hilarious turn beneath Celadine’s petticoat, repairing a loose hem. Irving plays the ribald situation with casual, foxy allure.) She acts the role with certified charm and enticing allure, like a Marivaux maiden completely in control of her destiny.

Michael Countryman, who can’t help posing as an “obnoxious fop,” gives a well-balanced account of a royal personage passing as a commoner. His dismissal of the annoying trumpeting heralds awaiting his every entrance and exit has a keen comic gloss.

Matt Pepper is the third-rate Hamlet in search of a new script, an elusively cunning dandy doubling as a spy. Leslie Lyles invests the gossipy housekeeper and blowsy former streetwalker with cheeky bluster.

The only drawback here is the comedy’s brevity. At 100 minutes there appears to be room left for more actor development and additional saucy hijinx behind closed curtains. Despite a clumsy sword-swinging encounter that is rather poorly staged by fight coordinator John Hayden, David Saint’s agreeably sprightly direction is quite the pink of perfection. Musical cues composed by Henry Purcell are a flavorful period asset.

Michael Anania’s serviceable set of a London coffeehouse is true to the period, centered by an imposing stone fireplace and dressed with pewter tankards and candlesticks. The period frocks created by David Murin add a colorful sweep to the proceedings.

The comedy has bright potential for regional repeats (single set and five actors) or perhaps an Off Broadway run. And if Hollywood were still making those fanciful Technicolor swashbuckling frolics, it would be a dandy entry for a Saturday matinee at the movies.

Celadine

George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick, N.J.; 360 seats; $56

Production: A George Street Playhouse presentation of a play in two acts by Charles Evered. Directed by David Saint.

Creative: Sets, Michael Anania; costumes, David Murin; lighting, Joe Saint; sound, Christopher J. Bailey; production stage manager, Mona El-Khatib. Opened, reviewed Nov. 19, 2004. Running time: 1 HOUR, 40 MIN.

Cast: Mary - Leslie Lyles Elliot - Matt Pepper Celadine - Amy Irving Jeffrey - Rob Eigenbrod Rowley - Michael Countryman

More Legit

  • The True review

    Off Broadway Review: 'The True' With Edie Falco

    Premiering at the George Street Playhouse, satirical comic romp “Celadine,” set in 17th century London, follows the timeless structure of Restoration comedy with its concealed identity, ribald humor and courtly intrigue. The play is Charles Evered’s final installment of a cloak-and-dagger trilogy, preceded last season with the George Street presentation of “Wilderness of Mirrors.” But […]

  • QUEER EYE

    'Queer Eye,' 'Young Sheldon,' 'Angels in America' Among TV and Theater Artios Award Nominees

    Premiering at the George Street Playhouse, satirical comic romp “Celadine,” set in 17th century London, follows the timeless structure of Restoration comedy with its concealed identity, ribald humor and courtly intrigue. The play is Charles Evered’s final installment of a cloak-and-dagger trilogy, preceded last season with the George Street presentation of “Wilderness of Mirrors.” But […]

  • Annette Bening and Tracy Letts

    Annette Bening, Tracy Letts Starring in 'All My Sons' on Broadway

    Premiering at the George Street Playhouse, satirical comic romp “Celadine,” set in 17th century London, follows the timeless structure of Restoration comedy with its concealed identity, ribald humor and courtly intrigue. The play is Charles Evered’s final installment of a cloak-and-dagger trilogy, preceded last season with the George Street presentation of “Wilderness of Mirrors.” But […]

  • End of Eddy review

    London Theater Review: 'The End of Eddy'

    Premiering at the George Street Playhouse, satirical comic romp “Celadine,” set in 17th century London, follows the timeless structure of Restoration comedy with its concealed identity, ribald humor and courtly intrigue. The play is Charles Evered’s final installment of a cloak-and-dagger trilogy, preceded last season with the George Street presentation of “Wilderness of Mirrors.” But […]

  • Jeffrey Seller Robert Wankel

    Variety Announces Inaugural Power of Broadway Breakfast

    Premiering at the George Street Playhouse, satirical comic romp “Celadine,” set in 17th century London, follows the timeless structure of Restoration comedy with its concealed identity, ribald humor and courtly intrigue. The play is Charles Evered’s final installment of a cloak-and-dagger trilogy, preceded last season with the George Street presentation of “Wilderness of Mirrors.” But […]

  • Janet McTeer, Theresa Rebeck on Gender,

    Listen: Janet McTeer, Theresa Rebeck on Gender, Power and 'Bernhardt/Hamlet'

    Premiering at the George Street Playhouse, satirical comic romp “Celadine,” set in 17th century London, follows the timeless structure of Restoration comedy with its concealed identity, ribald humor and courtly intrigue. The play is Charles Evered’s final installment of a cloak-and-dagger trilogy, preceded last season with the George Street presentation of “Wilderness of Mirrors.” But […]

  • Nick JonasJVxNJ fragrance launch, Arrivals, New

    Nick Jonas Turns Playwright as VIPs Turn Out for a First-Time Table Read (EXCLUSIVE)

    Premiering at the George Street Playhouse, satirical comic romp “Celadine,” set in 17th century London, follows the timeless structure of Restoration comedy with its concealed identity, ribald humor and courtly intrigue. The play is Charles Evered’s final installment of a cloak-and-dagger trilogy, preceded last season with the George Street presentation of “Wilderness of Mirrors.” But […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content