Rated 4.0 It’s been nine years since Tom Stoppard wrote Arcadia, one of the best scripts of the 1990s, and local director Aram Kouyoumdjian deserves esteem for mounting what is, for all intents and purposes, the first meaningful local production through Vista Players.A great deal of planning and consideration has gone into this little jewel of a show. That includes a carefully selected cast featuring several of the area’s best community actors (Jan Ahders, Blair Leatherwood, Claire Lipschultz), above-standard set and costumes, original music, and the most attractive and well-researched program book I’ve seen in years.

Keep your ears well-tuned, as there is a great deal going on in this play. The dialogue covers everything from landscape gardening to mathematics to poetry to seduction—with a dual storyline covering events in the 1800s and the present. Kouyoumdjian smoothly stages this very complex mix, keeping things clear and comprehensible, and Stoppard’s verbal zingers go off like fireworks in scene after scene.