“Tails of Wasps” presented by new Century Theatre Company.

If you love plays with exquisite acting, acting where every member of the cast is so polished, where every nuance of every character is finely honed, then you have a lot to like in “Tales of Wasps” directed by Darragh Kennan.. The company is relatively new. Its first thought provoking, ingeniously staged play, “The Adding Machine” by Elmer Rice, appeared in 2008. It was greeted by raves and set a standard that each of the following six plays has lived up to.

Of course, even the best actors can’t make a stunning evening out of a mediocre play, and New Century has been very careful to select plays that capture our attention from the first moment and then reel us deeper and deeper into the moral issues, dilemmas, or tragedies that unfold.

In this world premiere production of Stephanie Timm’s play we have all the elements for an astonishingly good night at the theatre. The story is one we all know. A politician, a handsome, family man who is on the side of justice and equity, a man with a terrific future ahead of him is caught in a compromising situation. His world unravels.

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Hannah Mootz and Paul Morgan Stetler in TAILS OF WASPS by Stephanie Timm. Photo by Chris Bennion

What makes him do it? How could he do it? Why can’t he control his sexual urges? Paul Morgan Stetler plays the politician Frank, the man who planned his misdemeanors so well he thought he’d never be caught. Stetler makes Frank a likeable guy, a guy you respect, a guy who tries to protect his wife and family from hurt, a man who is destined to accomplish good things for his constituency. Yet he risks all, and Stetler helps you to understand both his passion and his pain.

Equally mesmerizing are the women who come in and out of his life. Brenda Joyce, Sylvie Davidson, Betsy Schwartz, and Hannah Mootz are each breathtaking. Each brings something different to Frank sometimes to her own misfortune or disappointment.

NCTC has a history of creating unexpectedly excellent settings for each of its play. For this one you’ll be seated in a “hotel room.” Get your tickets early. There are only about 70 seats, and you don’t want to miss this production.

Through April 27, Thurs.-Sun., at ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle, (206 292-7676 or www.wearenctc.org).

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