The Arts

The Misanthrope

The Misanthrope featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

The Misanthrope
Tarragon Theatre
Written by Martin Crimp (after Molière)
Directed by Richard Rose
Performed by Stuart Hughes, Andrea Runge, Patrick Galligan, Michelle Giroux, Brandon McGibbon, Julian Richings, Maria Ricossa, David Storch and Stephen Gartner
Tarragon Theatre
Dec. 29, 2010 to Feb. 6, 2011

The Tarragon Theatre’s production of The Misanthrope is a triumph of wit.

British playwright Martin Crimp’s updating of the famous comedy is brilliant satire. Crimp even uses Molière’s poetic couplets, which contains some of the funniest rhymes ever spouted on the stage. The dialogue is absolutely delicious.

One good thing about mounting a play in December and January is you can hire Stratford and Shaw types between seasons, and this cast is filled with both. Stuart Hughes as the misanthrope leads a strong cast of classical actors. The one hitch is Andrea Runge. She is playing an American among a bunch of Brits, but her speech needs more Shakespearean oomph – she’s just too colloquial.

That aside, the updated plot about playwrights, actors and media types rips to shreds the hypocritical world of celebrities. Charlotte Dean’s sets and costumes are scrumptious, while director Richard Rose is relentless in his pacing.

A definite run, don’t walk.

The Misanthrope continues at the Tarragon Theatre until Feb. 6.

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