Metro Weekly

Theater Review: Constellation’s Absolutely! (Perhaps)

Gossipmongers run amok in the absurdist play Absolutely! (Perhaps)

Absolutely Perhaps Photo by Stan Barouh
Absolutely Perhaps – Photo: Stan Barouh

“What if your private life was the talk of the town?” It’s a question raised in Luigi Pirandello’s Absolutely! (Perhaps). The small Italian village in which the play is set might as well be called TMZ, since nearly everyone acts as employees do at that modern-day media tabloid, working to uncover the latest scoops about celebrities and pseudo-celebrities.

Constellation Theatre Company aims to draw parallels between our culture’s seemingly insatiable thirst for celebrity gossip and the similar quench by the characters in this nearly century-old comedy, one of the first by Pirandello, a forerunner of the absurdist movement that flourished in Europe after World War II. To accentuate the absurdist nature of the play — and, naturally, to best display the work of its core creative team, including designers A.J. Guban on set and design and Kendrai Rai on costumes — Constellation has placed the action in the 1960s Mad Men-era, when everything was a little over the top. They also opted for Martin Sherman’s decade-old adaptation of a play, originally translated into English as Right You Are, If You Think So. The farce revolves around competing stories and truths about a man, here played as intense and fraying by Michael Glenn, and his relationship with his mother-in-law, the personable Kimberly Schraf. Why does he keep her at such great distance, both physically and figuratively?

It’s really none of the townspeople’s business, gayish fop Lamberto Laudisi (the entertaining Ashley Ivey) says early on in Absolutely! (Perhaps). And, of course, it helps that he’s right.

Absolutely! (Perhaps) () runs to Nov. 9 at Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. Tickets are $20 to $45. Call 202-204-7741 or visit

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