Taking Steps

Sept. 6—Oct. 7 $20–$25
Constellation Theatre at Source
1835 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
Map
(202) 204-7741
Some like farce crisp and fleet. But farce tempts actors and directors to go with big, broad gestures—giant pratfalls and huge misunderstandings. If that's the sort of thing that tickles your ribs, you'll have a blast at Constellation Theatre's Taking Steps, an attractively mounted and lustily performed production of an intricate comedy in which everything's engineered for maximum confusion. In the three-story ex-brothel that's the setting for the show's shenanigans, there's a tycoon (Matthew R. Wilson), his flighty wife (Tia Shearer), her fussbudget brother (Dylan Myers), the wayward fiancée (Megan Graves), and a solicitor's assistant (Matthew McGee) who's come to help the industrialist close a real-estate deal, but who's so anxiously wispy you keep expecting him to evaporate. Playwright Alan Ayckbourn dictates that the house's three levels be laid out on a single floor; in Allison Arkell Stockman's staging, the actors mime the never-ending stair-climbing, which loses its appeal as the two-hours-and-40-minutes evening stretches on, but McGee and Graves are the secret sauce. (TG)

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