Tartuffe

Molière’s scathing 17th-century satire is mounted, appropriately, in a shopping center (home to SecondStory Repertory). Complacent bourgeois Orgon (John Clark) sputters, blinks, and turns away resolutely when most of his family suggests that his new friend Tartuffe is a user, a sanctimonious conniver. For all intents and purposes, Orgon has been Tartuffified—inducted into a little cult of Tartuffe worship that includes his mother (Jody McCoy, whose manner is the most naturalistic of the bunch). While Orgon plans to marry his daughter Mariane (Alysha Curry) to Tartuffe, the savvy maid Dorine (a deliciously autocratic Rosalynn Le, wielding her featherduster like a whip) and Orgon’s wife Elmire (Meredith Armstrong) scheme to expose Tartuffe’s fraudulence. James Weidman makes a devilish Tartuffe. Tall and thin, red hair in pompadour and barbiche, it’s hard to imagine where he puts all that mutton and port from Orgon’s table. Director Corey McDaniel’s enthusiastic cast spits Richard Wilbur’s modern translation lithely, playing it exclusively for laughs. Although there’s no disputing Molière intended the work as comedy, this breezy interpretation foregoes the more wounding punches that would have its characters truly feel the consequences of their own delusions. MARGARET FRIEDMAN

Fridays-Sundays. Starts: Aug. 5. Continues through Aug. 28, 2011

 
comments powered by Disqus