Six hilarious satires from the ingenious Molière, France’s original master of comedies:
The Bungler: In 17th Century Sicily, a clever valet named Mascarille tries to help his boss Lélie win the girl of his dreams…only to find that Lélie is a monumental dunce who ruins every one of his intricate schemes. Undaunted, Mascarille invents progressively wilder plots, only to see his best-laid plans go very awry. Performed by: Richard Easton, Adam Godley, Alan Mandell, Christopher Neame, Paula Jane Newman, Darren Richardson, John Sloan, Norman Snow and Kate Steele.
The Imaginary Cuckold: Brian Bedford stars as the enraged husband who imagines his wife is unfaithful, but becomes reluctant to defend his honor in this grand farce of hysterical coincidences, frenzied confusion and mistaken identities – the most widely performed Molière play in his lifetime. Performed by: Brian Bedford, Dakin Matthews, Christopher Neame, Moira Quirk, Darren Richardson, Carolyn Seymour, Alan Shearman and Joanne Whalley.
The School for Husbands: Sganarelle, a tyrannical old buffoon of a husband-to-be, seeks to isolate his young ward, while unwittingly carrying her messages of devotion to her lover. Meanwhile, his wise brother offers his ward kindness and liberty, and is rewarded with her hand in marriage. Performed by: Brian Bedford, Emily Bergl, Dakin Matthews, Juliet Mills, Christopher Neame, Lloyd Owen, Alan Shearman, Rhashan Stone and Olivia Williams.
The School for Wives: In this biting comedy of errors, the hapless Arnolphe is undone by his own double dealing and double standards. This play is considered by many to be Molière’s masterpiece, and Wilbur’s subtle verse translation illuminates the great master of comedy at his wittiest. Performed by: William Brown, Wellesley Chapman, Joe Damour, Kevin Fox, Cheryl Graeff, Judy Greer, Dev Kennedy, Bradley Mott and Larry
Tartuffe: Initially banned in by King Louis XIV, Molière’s most famous satire exposes hypocrisy in the Catholic Church. A pious fraud manipulates the patriarch of a wealthy family into giving up his fortune, and it’s up to his family to expose the truth before they end up in the poor house. Performed by: Brian Bedford, JB Blanc, Daniel Blinkoff, Gia
Carides, Jane Carr, John de Lancie, Martin Jarvis, Alex Kingston, Matthew Rhys and Sarah Zimmerman.
The Misanthrope: Razor-sharp wit inflames a competitive game of survival in the salons of 17th century France. In this world of “finest appearances,” one man’s blunt honesty shatters his society’s delicate web of manners in what is often considered to be Molière’s Hamlet. Performed by: Harry Althaus, Amy Farrington, Bradford Farwell, Sean Fortunato, David Frutkoff, Kevin Gudahl, Ora Jones, Chad Kelderman, John Reeger, Hollis Resnik, and Larry Yando.