“A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit,” Thomas Jefferson said. And it’s likely that the main sissy of playwright Nick Jones’s The Coward would have to agree. The period comedy set in 18th-century England concerns a wimpy young gentleman who challenges another man to a pistol duel. However, instead of going through with it, he hires a common criminal to fight in his place—blood is shed and the coward’s reputation grows as a fighter. Jeremy Strong stars as the cowardly Lucidus Culling and the always-lovely Kristen Schaal stars as Isabelle Dupree, an upperclass lady who only shows interest in the coward after she learns of his bravery; Sam Gold directs.

Nov. 8-Dec. 4, 2010

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