Crime & Punishment

Peter Brooks, Marie-Hélène Estienne, and Franck Krawczyk — the trinity that achieved 2011's splendidly frugal A Magic Flute — brings another musical restorative across the pond. Set in apartheid-era South Africa, The Suit tells the deceptively simple tale of a wife's infidelity and her husband's deceptively simple punishment: to treat her lover's abandoned suit as an honored guest. Every day. For the rest of her life. Within these marital troubles still arise sweetness, laughter, anger, and music, just as they do in the all-black suburb where the couple resides. The play's source material, a short story written by Can Themba, was buried under apartheid, along with the author's township and talent (he died in exile), and this production is taut with restrained foreboding. As with A Magic Flute, the cast and set are spare — chairs are used here with the same dexterity as Flute's bamboo poles — and great acting trumps great singing. Yet the score, which runs the gamut from Schubert to Makeba, quivers with el duende.

Tuesdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: April 23. Continues through May 18, 2014

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