Best 18th-Century Comedy by Oliver Goldsmith

She Stoops to Conquer

So maybe there's not a lot of competition in this category. (OK, not any.) But that's not to diminish the many delights of the Washington University Performing Arts Department's spunky production of She Stoops to Conquer. Even if we added Restoration comedy into the mix, then threw in all Kabuki mime plays, She Stoops to Conquer, or The Mistakes of a Night would still be the hands-down, fan-flapping, décolletage-flirting winner. Under the smiling direction of Jeffery Matthews, Oliver Goldsmith's good-natured romp started funny and kept getting funnier as the evening progressed. We say it a lot, but it cannot be overstated: University productions are frequently the best bargains in town. Not only are the tickets cheap (sometimes even free), but often the performances — as they were here — are so accomplished that to describe them as being by students is to unfairly pigeonhole their professionalism.

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