Silver Spring Stage presents The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard, directed by Joseph Coracle and produced by Jason Damaso and Bob Scott, a two-time Tony Award winning comedy about love, marriage and fidelity. The Real Thing will perform weekends February 22 to March 16.
Silver Spring Stage is located in the Woodmoor Shopping Center, lower level (next to the CVS) at Colesville Road and University Boulevard. Ticket prices are $20 for adults and $18 for seniors and students. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sundays March 3 and 10 at 2:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased at www.ssstage.org. Information is also available by calling (301) 593-6036.
Like the playwright Henry in The Real Thing, Tom Stoppard is a writer of unrivaled intellectual prowess who can pen a brilliant retort and can always get the smartest and funniest last word. In his unmatched portfolio, The Real Thing, which premiered in London in 1982 and on Broadway in 1984, is a singular standout. It contains his intellect in full bloom, but it also peels away the thoughts to a frank and bare truth about love and relationships. The Real Thing starts in true Stoppard fashion. In an interview, Stoppard said: "I remember thinking it would be fun if scene one turned out to have been written by a character in scene two." What is real and what is pretend mix and combine throughout the play. The first half has the qualities of his previous antic plays featuring fast and furious fun. The jokes disguise the real emotion in between the lines, which grows during the second half. As Henry faces his own real things, he finds that genuine understanding of love and one's real private identity compared to the pretend public one. There is a biographical element to the play with the playwright protagonist similar to Stoppard himself. However, the rumored inspiration of Stoppard's own affair with actress Felicity Kendall who was in the original production is invented as he wrote the play before the affair began. Nevertheless, it adds to the legend of this marvelously funny and insightful play.
The Real Thing opens with Max (Pat Miller) accusing his wife Charlotte (Julia Morrissey) of adultery, which is revealed not as the real thing but a scene from a play written by Henry (Scott Courlander). Henry and Charlotte are married. She is unhappy with her role in the play. Max arrives with his actress wife Annie (Emma Klemt), who is a fervent activist for an imprisoned anti-nuclear anarchist Brodie (Brian McDermott). Henry jests on Annie's cause, which infuriates Max. However, the disagreement is a ruse as Henry and Annie are having an affair. Max discovers the affair and the couples split. Henry turns to writing television scripts to support his new and former wife. He also struggles to write a play that captures his love for Annie. The second act picks up the story two years later. Henry's play remains unwritten. Annie encourages Henry to write a play for Brodie, but Henry finds Brodie's anti-intellectualism the opposite of his fervor for language. Annie is cast in a production of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore in Glasgow. In her absence, Henry visits Charlotte and their rebellious teenage daughter Debbie (Katie Zitz), who declares that monogamy is dead. Charlotte admits to affairs while married to Henry, which puts thoughts into his head that Annie may be doing the same. Henry confronts Annie who admits to an affair with her young co-actor Billy (Conor Scanlan), but refuses to give up Billy and her marriage. Henry reluctantly accepts. Brodie appears and adds more turmoil. Stoppard's insightful genius into the human heart is on full display with The Real Thing for audiences to enjoy.
Silver Spring Stage continues its 2012-2013 season with Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan (Apr 5-Apr 27), The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane (May 17-Jun 8), and Red Herring by Michael Hollinger (Jun 28-Jul 27).
Silver Spring Stage has provided quality, affordable theatre for over 40 years. We are an all-volunteer, non- profit organization and appreciate any contribution to enable us to offer excellent and entertaining productions. Thank you for your interest and support of Silver Spring Stage. All programs at Silver Spring Stage are made possible in part by grants from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and the Maryland State Arts Council.