Moliere's comic characters, who generally lack the subtlety of their modern counterparts, can grow tiresome. This makes the success of Robert Currier's production for the Seattle Shakespeare Company all the more impressive. At two hours, The Miser moves at a quick pace, picking up the jokes without dwelling on the slapstick. Harpagon, the stingy patriarch, betroths his daughter to a man who requires no dowry, his son to a woman whose grandchildren are more suitably aged, and himself to a young woman with insufficient financial resources but a purported affinity for old men with nose hairs. As misfortune would have it, his daughter is in love with the steward and his son with the woman Harpagon proposes to marry. Wackiness ensues. The ensemble is strong, though special credit goes to Leslie Law, whose portrayal of the conniving matchmaker is a consistent scene-stealer. Richard Devin's set design is simple yet perfectly conveys the play's essence. In the true spirit of Moliere, the production is over the top in nearly every way, but David Chambers' contemporary translation maintains the playwright's penchant for subversion. BRENT ARONOWITZ 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Ends April 6.
Thu., March 6, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., March 7, 8 p.m.; Sat., March 8, 2 & 8 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: March 6. Continues through April 6, 2008