Artful, surprising and truly fine in so many ways, the Alley Theatre's Spring production of Sarah Ruhl's Pulitzer Prize-nominated The Clean House was thrilling. Houston's inventive cast turned each and every character into a creative joy. Josie de Guzman's Matilde, the Brazilian maid who didn't like to clean, was a gift of sweet sadness who found a perfect foil in Elizabeth Heflin's obsessively tidy Lane, the boss from hell for any maid. Add Annalee Jeffries's amazing performance as Lane's goofy sister, Virginia, and Paul Hope and Karmín Murcelo's supporting roles as two different couples in love, and the chemistry onstage all but caught the place on fire. If only all plays could be blessed with an ensemble of performers as perfectly right as these five were.