Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Tartuffe"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2002 by Beverly Creasey


New Rep's
Magnificent Moliere

Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

Where shall I begin? With Richard Wilbur's exquisite rhymes? With Rick Lombardo's inspired "royal" 17th century setting? With John Ambrosone's gorgeous orange ("Barry Lyndon") candlelight? With Emily Dunn's sumptuous period costumes> I can hardly contain my glee."

Not a breath (or a spit-take for that matter) is out of place in Lombardo's elegant, sublimely wacky production...which is a command performance every night, I should add. And what an odd bunch they are, these royals, in attendance at "Tartuffe".

Never mind the ruling class; Michael Poisson is so deliciously perfect as Moliere/Orgon that one wishes New Rep would produce every Moliere play there is -- with Poisson playing that venerable playwright. And just when you think you can laugh no more, that nothing could be funnier than Poisson literally hemming and hawing about the stage --- Richard McElvain enters, looking and sounding like a mad cross between Cyrano and Charlie Chan --- or is it Elmer Fudd?! Diego Arciniegas and Poisson have a delightful brotherly duel of words on opposite sides of the Tartuffe question. Arianna Bassham floats across the stage as a lighter-than-air, hair-brained daughter who is bright enough to know she doesn't want to marry Tartuffe, while Colin Stokes makes a marvelous fop as her true love.

I could go on: Paul Farwell's double turn, Rachel Harker's shrewd wife .... Suffice it to say that my only gripe is that it ended too soon! I devoutly wish to be Tartuffified all over again...


"Tartuffe" (9 January - 10 February)
NEW REPERTORY THEATRE
54 Lincoln Street, NEWTON, MA
1 (617) 332-1646 .

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |