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Molière Comedy Taking Town Players Stage



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Molière Comedy Taking Town Players Stage

Town Players of Newtown will open Tartuffe, a great play by Molière, the father of French comedy, on Friday, July 2.

Behind a mask of high-minded piety, the title character inveigles his way into a happy family and proceeds to trick them out of everything they have. Thanks to the naive good will of the father and the moral vanity of the grandmother, he robs the son of his inheritance, usurps the hand of the daughter, attempts to seduce the wife, and steals the family home and honor. But this is a comedy, and the vigilance of a clever servant and the wisdom of King Louis XIV set things right in the end.

Molière wrote in rhyme, a style Richard Wilbur’s translation makes easy and almost natural. The verse is not only entertaining in itself but also ideal for a play about artifice. The tone is sometimes farcical and sometimes philosophical as the playwright mixes laughter and suspense to show the audience the dangers of believing everything people tell us about themselves – “a good lesson particularly in an election year,” comments director Ruth Anne Baumgartner.

Ms Baumgartner, a long-time director with Town Players, is being assisted for this production by Douglas Miller of Sandy Hook.

Rob Pawlikowski of Roxbury plays Tartuffe, the predator who manipulates events from behind a mask of goodness. His dupe, Orgon, is played by Keegan Finlayson of Sandy Hook; Pamela Meister of Newtown plays Orgon’s new wife, the target of Tartuffe’s lust. Travis Finlayson of Sandy Hook brings good news from the King in Act V.

Also in the cast are Simon Cole of Waterbury and Elise Bochinski of Weston as Orgon’s children; Ashley Nichols of Woodbury as the clever maid; Christian McEvoy and George Lang of Fairfield as a young lover and a wise brother-in-law; Marguerite Foster of Seymour as Orgon’s mother; and Judy Raines of Westport in two roles. Bob Jurgens of Patterson, NY, shares the role of the King’s Officer.

The abstract and ornate set is the design of Alexander Kulcsar of Fairfield; lighting is designed by Rob Pawlikowski, who also shares the producer’s tasks with Pamela Meister.

Anthony Poile of Ridgefield has designed and staged the period dance that opens the show. Lauren Parrish of Newtown is stage manager.

Performances of Tartuffe will be at The Little Theatre, Orchard Hill Road in Newtown (off Route 25). Curtain will be Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 through July 24, with one Sunday matinee on July 18 at 2 pm.

Ticket donation is $15 for all evening shows, $12 for the matinee. For reservations or directions call 270-9144.

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