Get local news delivered straight to your phone
We can't make City Paper without you
The Metromaniacs is a play obscure enough to satisfy even the most alternative aesthetes. It’s based on La Métromanie, a 17th-century French comedy by Alexis Piron that, while considered a classic, has received very little attention in the English-speaking world until now. This version, translated and adapted by playwright David Ives, is the third in his series of updated French classics. The plot goes like this: Poet Damis becomes enamored with the writings of a mystery poet he comes to believe is his own daughter, Lucile. But in an Oldboy-tier surprise, it’s not Lucile’s work; it’s actually the poetry of a middle-aged man named Francalou, who wants to use the misdirection to distance Lucile from the son of his bitter rival. The play is also rife with 17th-century jokes, scheming servants, pseudonyms, and disguises. That might sound complex, but rest assured that the intertwined plots and fiery feuds will come untied by evening’s end. The play runs Feb. 3 to March 8 at the Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW. $20–$100. (202) 547-1122. shakespearetheatre.org.