‘The Way of the World’ is a triumph of worldly witticisms at The Hilberry

Review by Patty Nolan for The Examiner

‘The Way of the World’ at The Hilberry theatre
Rating: 5 stars

Michael Manocchio as Witwoud and Miles Boucher as Fainall in The Way of the World.

Verbal sparring is a lost art form, but if you want to see it at its best (along with some physical sparring), go see the Restoration comedy “The Way of the World” at WSU’sHilberry Theatre. William Congreve’s masterpiece, directed by one of the area’s finest, Lavinia Hart, is so captivating that you may forget you’re getting schooled.

The play was first performed in 1700 and gives us a glimpse into the manners and fashions of the Restoration Period – (1660-1710) so named because it marks the time following the restoration of Charles II to the throne of England. After living under the repression of Cromwell’s Puritan ideals and enforced moral restraint, young members of the aristocracy cheerfully embraced the licentiousness, frivolity and foppery of Paris – something the young monarch learned while in exile.

This Hilberry production feels deliciously accurate. In fact, it would be worth seeing strictly on the merit of its “eye candy” – the lavish costumes, inventive scenic design, pretty dancing, daring sword play and spectacular wigs. (The wigs – elaborate human hair creations – were made possible only through a sizeable private donation. They are joyous works of art and artifice.)

Read the full review here.

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