Bringing Out the Verse in Him
Did Moliere put an enema onstage?
Did gags like that make all his plays the rage?
And did translators then Moliere deprive
Of laughs he would have had were he alive
By cleaning up his act till it was fluff
Instead of rude I'll-kill-you-for-that stuff?
Did academics make Moliere a rube
By getting rid of every bag and tube?
Tim Mooney thinks that this might be the case
He says Moliere was raunchy, even base.
He's looked at all the plays--there's 32
And set himself the task to make them new.
He comes home from his day job every night
And sits at his computer to rewrite
The lines that worked in 1666
But since have been refined out of their tricks.
Monsieur does not read French--no problem there.
He's translating translations, but who cares?
He's done 12 plays so far, and at Stage Two
They've managed to present more than a few:
Tartuffe, The Miser, Bourgeois Gentleman
Among them--now comes Schemings of Scapin.
Just like Moliere did centuries ago
The author will take on the leading role.
Tim Mooney was Stage Two's main man five years
He ran the place until he shifted gears
Decided writing was the way to go
When he discovered he could write a show
In just two weeks and it would live forever
A curse of course unless he made it clever.
But since he's got a mind meld with Moliere
He didn't think he'd have a problem there.
He's rewritten the rhyming plays just fine
But even prose he's now turning to rhyme
Which might inspire a purist to protest
That after all the master, he knew best.
When Scapin speaks in couplets will a rave
Be coming from Moliere deep in his grave?
Or will he, like some critics, leave his crypt
And rise to give a comment on the script?
"It sometimes happens that a person's struck
An inspiration hits, then runs amok.
A gentleman concise and even quick
Can suddenly just go all iambic
And only then express himself in rhyme
Contorting syntax with his every line
And trading any sensible parameter
For words that fit in iambic pentameter."
And here's the part I fear is most outrageous:
"The urge to rhyme appears to be contagious!"
Now should you wish to see if Mooney's looney
You could go out to the Museum Cune-
in Vernon Hills. Scapin is on the lawn
Until September 5, then it is gone.
Thursday, Friday, Sunday are the days
The first two nights, the Sunday (mostly) matinees,
It starts at 7 and at 3; 15 bucks the entry fee.
For tickets and directions too call 847-362-3042.
A special party will be held tonight
Pay double and you'll drink with the playwright!
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Eugene Zakusilo.