A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Can a jealous actor fool his cheating wife? Lillian Groag (artistic associate at the Old Globe) directs a new adaptation of The Guardsman, the comic tour de force about love, fidelity and illusion by Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnár, opening Saturday, May 17, at the NoHo Arts Center.

The Guardsman is Molnár’s 1910 masterpiece that inspired Harold Pinter’s The Lover. The premise: thespian Max Schuman is certain that his wife, actress Elena Beck, is being unfaithful, and disguises himself as a Russian guardsman to test her devotion.

In this new rendition by H. Patrikas Zakshevskis, Molnár’s classic has been freely adapted to be played by older actors. These are not the young 20-somethings of the original — fresh newlyweds in the ascendance of their lives and relationship. This couple is in the autumn of their lives with a personal history between them that goes back much farther. They know each other.

In this production, Henry Olek and Susan Priver bring an important authenticity to their roles as Max and Elena.
They are a real-life couple who have performed opposite each other many times for over a decade, including in the award-winning production of Pinter’s The Lover and his A Slight Ache.

Culture Spot LA Readers can win free tickets to the show on Friday, May 23, at 8 p.m. Email editor@culturespotla.com with “Guardsman” in the subject line to be entered in a drawing.

“The Guardsman” runs May 17-June 22 (previews May 15 and 16) at the NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood 91601. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 (previews $15). Call (323) 960-4418, or visit www.plays411.com/guardsman.