Rockville Little Theatre’s 2013-14 season closes with Molière’s classic comedy The Miser, at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre from May 2-11, 2014. Produced by Nancy Blum and Chris Penick, and directed by Guillaume Tourniaire, The Miser is a rollicking production that will keep the whole family in stitches.
Harpagon, the most desperate, scheming miser in literature, starves his servants, declines to pay them, cheats his own children if he can save (or make) a few coins, and when his hoard of gold disappears, insanely accuses everyone (including himself!) of being the thief. His growing children both yearn to leave for loves of their own, though their inheritance and fortune is tied up in their father. The general atmosphere of distrust obliges the lovers to conduct their affairs clandestinely. Of course, as this near-tragedy is set against the backdrop of Commedia dell’Arte-inspired slapstick, the line between tragic and comic is blurred.
Director Guillaume Tourniaire has set this unique production in the 1980s, and with live music and outlandish period costumes giving it an off-beat twist this classic comedy promises fun for all ages. “We’ve done a few things with this production, in an attempt to capture the spirit of Molière’s Commedia influences,” says Tourniaire. “Molière transposes the action from the typical Venice to Paris, and we have further transposed it to the New World. While this is a period piece, it’s rather difficult for our audiences to imagine the late 17th century from our perspective. We wanted a “mirror to life” that gave us enough distance to see our own distorted reflection, but enough proximity to be familiar. Thus, we settled on the “Me Decade” of the 1980s. The fashions of that period also afford us the opportunity to explore the ridiculous, much as the costumes of Molière’s own troupe would have, built on the instantly-recognizable “uniforms” of Commedia dell’Arte stock characters.”
The Miser, produced by Nancy Blum and Chris Penick, directed by Guillaume Tourniaire and featuring Steven Rosenthal, Todd Mazzie, Lena Winter, Justus Hammond, Amanda Wesley, Bill Byrnes, Michael Abendshein, Karen Fleming, Rick Christenhusz, Christopher Reed, and Eric Henry.
The Miser plays from May 2-11, 201 at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre -603 Edmonston Drive, in Rockville, MD. For tickets, call (240) 314-8690, buy them at the box office, which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 2-7 PM, or purchase them online. Evening performances are at 8:00 PM, Sunday matinees are at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $18.00 for adults and $15.00 for seniors and student.
An Interview with Guillaume Tourniaire on Directing Rockville Little Theatre’s ‘The Miser’ by Ken Kemp.