Friday, October 17, 2014

Have a #Blessed Day

Posted By on Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 2:57 PM

click to enlarge 10628290_1507096412863526_970711314963692098_n.jpg

Sex, lies, and religious hypocrisy all on one stage? I guess that means the rapscallion Tartuffe must be back in town. 

I suppose it should come as no surprise that artists working in the Mid-South look to Moliere's perfect farce and see Memphis perfectly reflected. Threepenny Theatre Company's "transdaptation" #Blessed is at least the third time I can think of that a local company has taken the very funny source material, and configured it specifically for Memphis.

click to enlarge The cast of  Tartuffe. Rhodes College, 1994 - MCCOY THEATRE
  • McCoy Theatre
  • The cast of Tartuffe. Rhodes College, 1994

click to enlarge The King in Tartuffe. Rhodes College, 1994 - MCCOY THEATRE
  • McCoy Theatre
  • The King in Tartuffe. Rhodes College, 1994

In the 1994 Rhodes College professor Frank Bradley set Tartuffe in a mythologized Memphis, using a special translation developed by Memphis playwright Bill Baker. It was so Memphis, in fact, that the King became none other than the King of Rock-and-Roll, Elvis Presley.

Tartuffe at the Hattiloo, 2010. - HATTIOO.ORG
  • Tartuffe at the Hattiloo, 2010.

The Hattiloo's 2010 production, smartly adapted with Memphis in mind, felt less like a 17th-century French farce than a lost Douglas Turner Ward comedy. It was a little rough around the edges, but absolutely right in every way that mattered, and I regret that this video I'm posting doesn't do the show justice. 

Now the classically-minded Threepenny Theatre company has turned its attention to this story of a con-man of the cloth who sets his sights on a happy family, nearly tearing them apart. 

If you're intrigued, Threepenny has posted a series of cast interviews here. 

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