P. G. Wodehouse’s comic novels present a kind of mirror image of David Mamet’s universe: their characters end up hopelessly entangled within webs of deception and intrigue as each pursues an object of great desire. But pursuing an English prize pig leads to much happier results than “American Buffalo.” Wodehouse’s inspired silliness gets a lively staging by City Lit Theater, in an adaptation by Page Hearn. Though the device of actors momentarily stepping out of character to narrate is ungainly, the company manages to make a formidable maze of subplots and counterplots, featuring an American heiress, a jilted detective, a temporarily jilted detective novelist, dieting nobles and butlers, and the drunken pigman Wellbeloved, eminently clear. Don Bender turns in a bravura performance as Galahad Threepwood: a whirlwind of quick pivots and thrusts, Bender embodies the serpentine complexity of Galahad’s scheme-filled mind. He leads a sharp and agile ensemble, deftly switching between doubled and tripled roles with enviable ease. Martha Adrienne’s direction keeps the action at a giddy pace. As the script’s knowing nods to “The Importance of Being Earnest” underline, “Pigs Have Wings” secures its place in the pantheon of madcap English comedy with assurance. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.