Southwest Shakespeare's She Stoops to Conquer in Mesa Is Tedious and Good-Looking -- Think Richard Gere's Private Life

The setup: Like pretty much every other theater with "Shakespeare" in its name, Mesa's Southwest Shakespeare Company peppers each season with plays written by other people. They're usually referred to as "classical." Some companies also present newer shows that are Shakespeare-related or -inspired, and SSC has been doing quite a bit of Noel Coward and Oscar Wilde lately, as well, with mixed results.

One of the criteria that appear to mean "classical" is "centuries old, with an English script available." Many of us were required to read plays of this nature in college.

Some old classics are much better live, off the page, even today. Others, despite their historical and literary importance, can be quite a slog. Oliver Goldsmith's 1773 hit She Stoops to Conquer, Southwest Shakespeare's current production, is a huge milestone in the development of English comedy that now teeters on the brink of irredeemable fustiness.

See also: - A Christmas Carol from Southwest Shakespeare Is Virtually Sold Out in Mesa and Worth the Trouble - Shakespeare at the Biltmore: The Importance of Being Earnest and A Midsummer Night's Dream - Curtains: Southwest Shakespeare's Blithe Spirit Is Blithe and Spirited, Thank God