PRECIOSITY Comes to Savoy at Curtis Park, Now thru 4/19
What happens when you take two social climbing wannabes from the era of Moliere and drop them in modern times to review art? Denver-based production company Horse & Cart wanted to find out and thus the original comedy Preciosity was born. This world-premiere theatrical installation opens today, April 11 at the Savoy at Curtis Park. After nearly seven months in production, Preciosity will play Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm through April 19. Tickets are $15 and are now available at Horse & Cart's website.
Preciosity is the story of two sisters, Costanze and Sidonie de Ridicule (played by Timmi Lasley and Sam Provenzano). Described by their faithful servant Marotte (Maggy Stacy) as "the ultimate guardians of taste and culture, the most excellent purveyors of all that is tasteful, graceful, hasteful, and wasteful", these 17th Century ladies invite you to experience art like never before. Preciosity director and co-creator Michael Emmitt says, "Preciosity will be a strolling show around an art gallery-like environment. The actors will be sharing the space with the audience, moving through them, talking to them, and teaching them as best they know how about fine art. Expect to laugh, look at real artwork, enjoy drinks, and think about how history continued to repeat itself. Oh, and expect fart jokes... we definitely aren't taking ourselves too seriously!"
Emmitt says the show's road to the stage has been an evolutionary one. "We at Horse & Cart joke that we program first, ask questions later. There were a couple ideas floating around, and originally Preciosity was an improv show, so our initial seed in rehearsal was improvisation. What we found was that the material was really rich, touching on some deep ideas. It involved casting changes as the show took on a new identity, and scripting a lot more. We did a test run of some of the 'bits' or sketches we had developed back in November. Next, we moved into weekly writing meetings. Timmi, Sam, and I (and later Maggy) would talk through what these characters were trying to do, what they wanted, and what kind of journey we wanted to take them on. Then we'd write jokes, tell lots of inappropriate stories, watch youtube videos and ultimately, we created a safe zone, where any of us could share the most outlandish idea, and we knew we wouldn't be judged. That's where the best work happens!" Moliere's "Les Précieuses Ridicules" served as the inspiration for the piece and the French farce master has a deep connection to the production. "My first directing project in Denver was a 2008 production of The Learned Ladies which I felt had tons of style, but maybe not much substance," Emmitt says. "I've grown up a lot since then, and Preciosity feels like a full circle. I'm even working with one of the same actresses from that show, Timmi Lasley."
Vital lessons like how to look at art and an "in-depth" lecture on fan etiquette as well as the real meaning of some of the art world's true masterpieces are graciously covered in an evening of scripted, improv and interactive theater. This unpredictable tutorial takes a comedic turn for the worse when the sisters themselves crumble before the audience like a priceless statue while an unexpected guest tries to teach them a thing or two. Will Denver theater-goers get a great lesson in art? Will the sisters de Ridicule get it together or get what's coming to them? Will poor Marotte ever get a break? Find out April 11 when Preciosity opens at the Savoy at Curtis Park.