Theatre Unleashed Kicks Off 2014 with TARTUFFE, 3/15-4/19
Theatre Unleashed has announced its first Main Stage show of 2014 will be the Moliere classic Tartuffe, running March 15-April 19 at The Belfry Stage in North Hollywood.
"We have another full season that's actually a little more light-hearted, while still very timely," said Artistic Director Carlos Martinez. "With that in mind, why not start off with such a classic and brilliant comedy."
In Moliere's mater work, the religious fraud Tartuffe has fooled the wealthy but naive Orgon, who is ready to award him his daughter's hand in marriage. But the wily and wicked "imposter" has his sights set on even loftier goals, including seducing his host's wife, ruining the family name and taking over the household.
Theatre Unleashed is using Ranjit Bolt's daring, aggressive and rarely used translation. The company is also producing Tartuffe in association with Mad Magpie and helmed by classics master director Jeff Soroka, who is thrilled to explore the themes of obsession, control, gullibility, the absurdity of zealotry and above all, hypocrisy.
"Bolt's translation is light, adept, fun, poignant and, most importantly, intelligent," he said. "Less foundational than transformative, Bolt makes the essential Moliere come alive in modern idiom. As opposed to almost all others, Bolt's translation of Tartuffe is livelier, quicker, more nimble, more irreverent and as such, utterly supports the insanity inherent in the situations presented in the script. What you are left with is a script that demands to be played brightly and with a razor-keen appreciation for the darkness that underlies the entire idea of the abdications of reason, thought, and judgment."
Soroka last directed for Theatre Unleashed in 2010, when he helmed the company's hugely successful production of Twelfth Night. Company execs expressed their excitement to have him back at TU.
"His classical expertise and pure passion for the language of the classics is infectious, and working with him is a joy," said Jenn Scuderi, Assistant Artistic Director. "He approaches every project with clear directorial vision and an energy that permeates the cast and audience alike. We are extremely lucky to be working with Jeff again."
Tartuffe kicks off a Main Stage season that will include the West Coast debut of the new play by Justin Moran (The Spidey Project) called POPE! An Epic Musical and the return of the holiday tradition KAWL Presents It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play for the Stage. TU will also once again be a strong presence at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, bringing back the cult classic 25 Plays Per Hour and the critically acclaimed Friends Like These. The company will also produce its signature 24-Hour Theatre Events and Late Night Series shows, which this year will mark the return of Tales of an Unsettled City.