In 1879 Ibsen’s Nora Helmer rejected the inequitable status of the upper-class housewife, and in 1902 Shaw’s Vivie Warren embraced the opportunities offered by the working world. W. Somerset Maugham’s 1926 exploration of the connection between economic independence and sexual liberation rewards its savvy heroine with the best of both worlds. A smart cast under Paul S. Holmquist’s agile direction and Elise Kauzlaric’s meticulous dialect instruction renders the period repartee briskly provocative in this Griffin Theatre Company production, which is enhanced by Chris Tisone’s ebullient incidental music and Elizabeth Schroeder’s scrumptious gowns. –Mary Shen Barnidge a Through 6/24: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, $24.