A lioness in a Chanel suit, Sandra Cabot (Christine Lahti) prowls the boards of the Classic Stage Company with predatory grace. She’d be scary if she weren’t so funny. The same is mostly true of “Dreams of Flying Dreams of Falling,” the Adam Rapp play in which Lahti stars.
A drawing room comedy turned on its head — it takes place in a dining room, after all — “Dreams” begins with Sandra, husband Bertram (Reed Birney) and their friend Dirk (Cotter Smith) sipping cocktails. While they await Dirk’s wife (Betsy Aidem) and son (Shane McRae), recently released from a mental institution, Canadian geese crash against the Cabots’ palatial Connecticut residence.
When Bertram leaves to investigate, Sandra asks Dirk to help her kill him by pouring poison into his drink. Dirk neither refuses nor agrees, but he places the vial of poison in his pocket, where it stays as the other guests appear and dinner is served.
Animals and dream-like stories populate the vivid dialogue. With its surreal logic and send-up of its self-absorbed characters, the play is consistently entertaining, if less than subtle. And its puzzling, disturbing, anguish-tinged ending resonates after the lights go down.