Breaking boundaries with Restoration Comedy

GVL/Brianna Olson
Cast and crew of

GVL/Brianna Olson Cast and crew of "Restoration Comedy"

Moriah Gilbert

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“Restoration Comedy,” a modern take on two restoration comedies from the 1600s, is coming to the Grand Valley State University Theatre.

Directed by Kiara Pipino, the play is an extremely comedic and physical play where the characters are loud and larger than life.

“It is quite unique, as it uses a very peculiar style and provides it with a contemporary spin,” Pipino said.

“Restoration Comedy” follows Loveless, an insatiable womanizer who returns to England after wasting his own fortune. In order to reclaim part of his own fortune, Loveless fakes his own death.

However, when Loveless’s wife Amanda learns that her husband is alive, she begins plotting revenge with the help of her husband’s friend, Worthy. This play is a tale of a modern relationship.

“The intention of the show is not to dig into believability, but rather pay tribute to a style and its theatricality,” Pipino said.

Pipino noted the actors are doing their best to commit to the bold, physical choices and embody characters that have a unique take on life and morality.

“The characters in the play are ‘acting’ as different characters, so they find themselves having to discover different and often opposite personalities,” Pipino said.

The play follows typical restoration comedies that were once banned, but it still portrays characters through the chase toward the joy of love and debauchery.

“For me, I found it exciting to take a break from reality and delve in this world of pure exaggeration,” Pipino said.

In addition, she said she finds it appropriate for the students to be exposed to this style because it is an important part of theater history and, for several reasons, the plays are often not produced.

“It’s nice to see all of this craziness happening knowing that it’s a show, it’s on stage and you can enjoy it for a while,” Pipino said.

Stage Manager Shannon Mazey enjoys being a part of “Restoration Comedy” because of the progress the actors make from week to week.

The audience should expect a lot of humor and jokes, which may be obvious from the title of the show, Mazey said.

“The audience can also expect to see the different perspectives of love people may have and the types of love that accompany those perspectives,” Mazey said. “You always need other people when you are working on a show and in our department, people are always willing to help anyway they can.

“That helps the show to run more smoothly and be an enjoyable experience.”

“Restoration Comedy” will be on stage March 20-21 and March 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. and March 22 and 29 at 2 p.m. at the Louis Armstrong Theatre.

Tickets are $6 for students and are an additional dollar at the door. For more information and tickets, visit, or call the theater box office at (616) 331-2300.