A. A. Milne might have been most famous for his gentle, always-hungry bear, Winnie the Pooh, but Milne was also a prolific playwright. Admittedly less well-known than the bouncing Tigger or gloomy Eeyore, the title character in his comedy of manners Mr. Pim Passes By still causes quite a stir for Olivia and George, an unhappily married couple. (Olivia was first married to Jacob. The two were estranged; then news reached Olivia that Jacob had died, after which Olivia married skinflint George. Thats the situation when the action starts.) Quite innocently, Mr. Pim comes along and casually mentions that hes recently seen should-be-dead Jacob. The highly respectable George goes into a panic. Jacob is alive? His wife is a bigamist! Their marriage is illegal! What to do, oh, what to do?
If the plot sounds like a silent-film melodrama, thats because it was (there was a 1921 version of Mr. Pim). The play, which is set in turn-of-the-century England, is still bright and witty. It makes its regional premiere at the Main Street Theater this week with Steve Garfinkel directing and Fritz Dickmann, Carolyn Johnson and Rutherford Cravens as Prim, Olivia, and George, respectively. Previews of Mr. Pim run 7:30 p.m. November 10 to today, with opening night on November 15. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays. Main Street Theater in Rice Village, 2540 Times Boulevard. Through December 23. For tickets and information, call 713-524-3977 or visit www.mainstreettheater.com. $10 to $35.
Sat., Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 11, 8 p.m.; Wed., Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Nov. 10. Continues through Dec. 23, 2007