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Deep dive into theater history dredges up long-lost play at ICTC

Some plays burn bright for a few important moments and quickly fall out of fashion.

Such was the case with "The Awful Truth," Arthur Richman's post-Victorian comedy that ran on Broadway in 1922, inspired a 1937 film starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant and then was never heard from again. That is, until the Metropolitan Playhouse produced a version of it in 2015.

Some years earlier, independent of that production, the Irish Classical Theatre Company's Fortunato Pezzimenti went on a hunt for that same play after watching the film version. After calling publishers and searching online to no avail, he discovered a copy, on microfilm, in the collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in 2011.

He directs a production of long-dormant play opening April 20 in the Andrews Theatre. The show stars Diane Curley as "a divorcee with expensive tastes and limited means" who pairs up with a rich oil baron from Oklahoma (Eric Rawski). Hijinks of various kinds ensue.

In a New York Times review of the 2015 production, critic Neil Genzlinger wrote that the show could have used "considerably more sparkle and verve." Curley and Rawski may well deliver it.

"The Awful Truth": April 20 to May 13 in the Andrews Theatre, 625 Main St. Tickets are $20 to $45. Call 853-4282 or visit irishclassical.com.

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