The Misanthrope | Piccolo Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through April 23 2016
Price: $27
British playwright Martin Crimp penned this 1996 adaptation of Molière's 1666 comedy about a self-righteous moralist—a man who rails at the shallowness and hypocrisy of the world in which he lives—hopelessly in love with a fickle woman who embodies everything her lover despises. In Crimp's version, set in present-day London, the title misanthrope, Alceste, is a playwright, and his beloved, Jennifer, is a Hollywood actress surrounded by a campy, coke-snorting, selfie-shooting entourage of two-faced sycophants. Crimp's dialogue—written in Molière-style rhymed couplets but also laced with very contemporary profanity—is quite clever, with its updated allusions to Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, the BBC, "unprotected sex," and Molière himself. The cast of this diverting, intimate production handle the witty text with impressive verbal dexterity, and there are plenty of laughs here. But new artistic director Michael D. Graham's staging never probes the dark subtext of Alceste's extreme contempt for the failings not only of society but of human nature itself. —Albert Williams
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