It is uncommonly moving to watch Genest's Hugo from that point through the end, as the once-callous wit falls away to reveal a quiet, naked grief — and it is all the more arresting to watch him letting Hilde see it. In their final, fraught moment of mutual acknowledgement, nearly no words are said, but the emotional complexity between them is worth thousands of them.

A SONG AT TWILIGHT | by Noël Coward | Directed by Paul Mullins | Produced by Portland Stage Company | through March 17 | 207.774.0465

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