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Miles Malleson is one of the Mint Theater Company’s most significant rediscoveries. Known today solely for his small but striking character roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Stage Fright,” Anthony Asquith’s 1952 film version of “The Importance of Being Earnest” and several of Alec Guinness’ comedies, he was also a dramatist of no mean gifts whose plays had nonetheless vanished from the stage long before his death in 1969. The Mint, which specializes in reviving the work of such writers, has to date produced two of Malleson’s plays, “Conflict” (1925) and “Yours Unfaithfully” (1933), both of which it captured on broadcast-quality archival videos. I saw “Conflict” onstage three years ago and reviewed it as a webcast in October, finding it impressive on both occasions. While I missed “Yours Unfaithfully” when it played at the Mint in 2016, it can now be viewed in streaming video, and the results are at least as good.
“Yours Unfaithfully” had never been staged anywhere before the Mint put it on. It’s easy to see why: It tells the story of an open marriage….
North Coast Repertory Theatre, which presented superior webcast productions of “An Iliad” and “Same Time, Next Year” in 2020, is now offering yet another extremely watchable two-hander. Joanna McClelland Glass’s “Trying,” staged by David Ellenstein, the company’s artistic director, is a bioplay about Francis Biddle (played by James Sutorius ), a bred-in-the-bone Philadelphia Republican who had a midlife conversion and switched parties to become Franklin Roosevelt’s attorney general (in which capacity he unsuccessfully opposed the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II) and, later, to serve as a judge at the Nuremberg war-crime trials….
* * *To read my review of Yours Unfaithfully, go here. To read my review of Trying, go here.