In a monologue, Laurie Anderson once confessed that when her memory of various facts began to fade while teaching art history in night school, she just started making things up. Though it worked for a while, "I finally quit," she concluded. "Not before I was fired," she added, "but it was very, very close."
In Lettice & Lovage, one of Peter Shaeffer's rare comedies, a self-styled dowager docent adopts a similar approach while leading tours through the least historical of England's historical homes, the appropriately named Fustian House. She begins punching up her material with hyperbolic flights of Elizabethan fantasy, in increasingly open defiance of what she terms "the mere." That form of script-doctoring ultimately brings her into conflict with a bureaucratic supervisor, in a world where fantasy and fact battle for supremacy.
Sandi Sullivan joins Lynda Clark, who takes on the role Maggie Smith played in the original production, as this genteel comedy plays Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. before rotating in rep during N.C. State's Theatrefest through June 17. Tickets run $12-15. —Byron Woods