On stage in London
Mr. and Mrs. Nobody: This is an unusual, utterly delightful two-hander about a Victorian couple, the Pooters, who resolve to keep separate diaries of their day-to-day lives. Each speaks of the events according to his/her point of view. She is forever the cynic; he is forever the sick quipster. Judi Dench and Michael Williams, who play the couple (they are in fact married in real life), are well known to British audiences for their extensive stage and television work. Ms. Dench, in particular, has won numerous awards for her superb acting talents. In the hands of lesser Thespians, the show might well have fallen flat. But with these two gloriously matched performers, it soars. At the Garrick Theatre. Evenings at 7:30, Tuesday matinee at 3, Saturday at 5 and 8. Tel. (01) 379 6107. The American Clock: America during the 1930s depression is vividly recreated by the National Theatre (NT). By Arthur Miller, the play first opened on Broadway in New York six years ago to mixed reviews. This newest version, considerably reworked by Miller and consummately directed by NT director Peter Wood, proved to be such an enormous hit when it premi`ered last summer that the NT is bringing it back on its main stage for another go. The highly polished production injects Miller's tapestry-like tale with much verve. Not to be missed. In repertoire from Dec. 18. Call the NT for days and times. Tel. (01) 928 2252. Bay at Nice/Wrecked Eggs: Written by David Hare, one of Britain's foremost playwrights, these are two short plays, one set in the Soviet Union, the other in America. Both are very different in plot, but each deals with the same theme: freedom. The cumulative message is that real freedom is based far more on one's capacity for independent thinking than on the government under which one lives. They are demanding, but rewarding. Also in repertoire at the NT. Call the NT for days and times. Tel. (01) 928 2252. Tons of Money: If farce is your cup of tea, and even if it's not, this happens to be a particularly good one. Again at the NT. Directed by Britain's No. 1 theater funnyman, playwright/director Alan Ayckbourn, this is a marvelous restaging of a madcap piece, written in 1922, and set around a country home, an inherited fortune, and endless machinations to get the money without letting a long queue of creditors learn about the windfall. What makes the show such a treat is the superb comic acting, along with some delightfully slick staging. Currently in repertoire. Call the NT for days and times. Tel. (01) 928 2252. Woman in Mind: It's a bumper year for Alan Ayckbourn. Often referred to as Britain's most prolific playwright since Shakespeare, Ayckbourn's newest original play, which he again directs, is now playing to packed houses at the Vaudeville Theater. Something of a dark comedy, it's the story of a housewife, neurotically crippled by boredom, whose fantasy life is forever coming to the rescue - until it threatens to intrude just a bit too much. Much clever comedy, with just a smattering of disturbing thought. Julia McKenzie, in the main role, gives a riveting performance. Evenings at 8, Wednesday matinee at 2:30, Saturday at 5 and 8:30. Tel. (01) 836 9987.