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 i
s 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.
The cast of Tartuffe. Rhodes College, 1994
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.
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.