Fallen Angels

Two women in the late 1920s are living their expected upper-class lives as wives when they get word that a man from their past is coming to see them. And not just any man, but a French charmer named Maurice whom each of the women had a fling with at different times in their prior lives. The two best friends spend the day together waiting while their husbands — described as passionless — are out playing golf. In Noel Coward’s Fallen Angels, the behavior of the friends, Julia and Jane, played by Crystal O’Brien and Lisa Villegas respectively, gets increasingly hilarious as the women apply themselves to champagne in increasing amounts during the wait, quarreling and making up, and then, of course, the husbands arrive back early.

This is a play that Claire Hart-Palumbo and Main Street Theater have been wanting to do for a long time — “12 years, in fact,” according to the director. It took them that long to get and keep the rights (taken away once by another theater company with more pull, Hart-Palumbo says). “Of all of Coward’s plays of the upper class behaving badly, this is the only one whose two leads are women,” she says.

The director is considered something of an authority on Coward’s work and says she likes it so much because of his clever language. “I prefer to be entertained by people who are smarter than I am,” she says. The three-act play comes in at around two and a half hours total running time and also boasts a maid, Saunders (played by Elizabeth Marshall Black), who has a lot of advice to hand out.

7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. Through August 3. 2540 Times Boulevard. For information, call 713‑524‑6706 or visit mainstreettheater.com. $20 to $39.
Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: July 10. Continues through Aug. 3, 2014