Not being a person who thrives on the classics, I went to see the Seattle Shakespeare Company's new production of Tartuffe with guarded acceptance. I knew almost nothing about Moliere and Tartuffe, but I was willing to check it out.
Every successful satire has teeth, though most often they're employed lightly, nipping at common foibles and quirks of character. Moliere's Tartuffe, in the hands of Berkeley Rep, has fangs, fiercely tearing into greed and cruelty.
The gap between privilege and its absence gets bigger by the day, and in contemporary discourse it's considered revolutionary (or at least rude) to point that out. But as long as we're talking about the 17th Century, or the go-go 90s, or even 2004, it's safe to speak the truth.
Many theater companies have the stated goal of making the classics accessible to modern audiences, but few accomplish that as successfully as Parson's Nose. The virtually non-stop laughter at Parson's Nose performances is a sure sign of their success.
The School for Lies opened at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on December 4th. In honor of this trip back in time to the Sixteen Hundreds and the land of Moliere, I visited Jeff Award winning wig and make-up designer, Melissa Veal.
A Doctor in Spite of Himself at Berkeley Rep employs puppets, pop-culture references, and all manner of music and physical comedy to dispense pure hilarity. It's nonsense, to be sure, but this nonsense is spectacularly inspired.