As punishment for her infidelity, he insists that she treat the suit as an honored guest - feeding it at the table, taking it on walks. This weirdness continues to the breaking point, and the soap-operatic plot ends, predictably, in tears.
The most interesting character is the husband's friend (Jordan Barbour), the only one who speaks about public troubles - townships razed, populations relocated, police brutality - rather than private troubles. Of course, in plays about South Africa, the private is usually a metaphor for the public, and the couple's hopeless longings, betrayals, and despotic threats start to sound a lot like the country's.
I kept expecting the suit to become a real character in the play, but it didn't, despite moments when the top of the hanger actually seemed to be a head. Another South African play, Athol Fugard's Blood Knot, is also about a symbolic suit, but there the suit is filled with terrifying power and meaning.
This suit, like this entire show, is slight, and with the actors miming all the actions, and long songs presented concert-style, and people brought on stage from the audience, The Suit seems slow even for its brief, 75-minute length.
The music, written by Franck Krawczyk, is lovely and evocative, with Arthur Astier, Mark Christine, and Mark Kavuma playing a variety of instruments.
Through March 8, Prince Music Theater, Broad and Chestnut Sts.
Information: 215-972-1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.