“Few think they know this 1622 play, which scholars ascribe to Thomas Middleton (the central tragic plot) and William Rowley (a parallel madhouse plot, supposedly comic). But it has a high reputation among specialists and theater people, who love its extremity of story, language and moral catastrophe.
Surprisingly, “The Changeling” is directed with gusto by Jackie Maxwell. It’s not the gusto that’s surprising but that for the past 14 years she was artistic director at the Shaw Festival, where she never got to program anything like this. For me, it had the added oddity of my explaining to my grandson what the bizarre virginity test in the story is all about.”