By Colin Dabkowski, The Buffalo News | Published 7:00 a.m. January 24, 2018
Constance Middleton is one cool customer.
She takes a liberal view of infidelity. She blithely compares the notion of sex with her husband to eating cold mutton. And while she certainly thinks men are sweet, she also believes that it would be “absurd to take them seriously.”
In the dim light of the Andrews Theatre, where David Oliver’s marvelous production of “The Constant Wife” is running through Feb. 11, it’s possible to detect many female heads nodding in agreement.
As Kate LoConti delivers W. Somerset Maugham’s breezy and blunt observations about the hopelessness of the marriage contract in the face of human nature, it feels as fresh as a Dan Savage column.
Here, straight from Maugham’s pointed pen and the mouth of the remarkable Kate LoConti as Constance, is yet more evidence of how little American society has progressed since Ethel Barrymore played the role of Constance in 1926 …
LoConti, who has turned in fine performances in the recent Irish Classical Theatre Company productions “Design for Living” and “The Winslow Boy” nearly outshines the material. She is effervescent …
It’s difficult to say precisely what makes LoConti’s stage presence so compelling, but it has something to do with her ability to appear both unruffled and utterly engaged with the life of her own mind. Both Barrymore and Buffalo’s Katharine Cornell had great success (if mixed reviews) with their appearances as Constance, and it seems clear that LoConti can hold her own in their company.