Booth Tarkington Civic Theater at the Center for the Performing Arts; through Nov. 12.
You probably know the almost entirely fictionalized story, which dates all the way back to a Pushkin playlet: a jealous Antonio Salieri masquerades as Mozart's buddy while trying to ruin him emotionally and professionally.
John Michael Goodson, giving a striking performance as Salieri, reaches stirring emotional peaks in his monologues. Sure, he's a conniving would-be murderer, but Goodson makes us sympathize with his actions. Jeremy Allen Brim, delightful as the sniggering and boisterous Mozart, makes a satisfying and agonizing transition from a full-of-life brat to a decimated, overworked shell.
Luxurious costume design from Jean Engstrom captures the richness of the enlightenment period in Vienna. And, thankfully, director Robert J. Sorbera sets a brisk pace for this two-plus hour play.