Jan. 3—Feb. 10 $20–$40
Washington Stage Guild at Undercroft Theatre
900 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC
(240) 582-0050
A con man emerges from the shadows to seduce a shopgirl in an assured staging of the black-edged Edwardian romance Tryst. It’s not spoiling anything to say that Felipe Cabezas’ dapper George Love is up to no good: He tells you so up front. His game is to spot the lonely ones with a bit of savings tucked away and to woo them, wed them, bed them, and then make off with their nest eggs. Enter Adelaide (the superb Emily Townley), a frumpy millinery worker with a fine hand for hatmaking and a dark domestic secret or two. As George coaxes Adelaide through a wedding night that doesn’t go quite as he’d planned, her distress awakens a shred of sympathy in him. By next day, though, he’s hardened his heart and ready to clinch the con—only to discover that Adelaide isn’t quite the patsy he’s thought. Can love—or even trust—bloom between these two deeply scarred specimens? The eventual answer may strike some as too melodramatic to be believed—until they emerge to discover the lobby placards detailing the real-life story on which Karoline Leach based the play. (TG)

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Jan. 28—Feb. 21

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