Lantern Theater Company Presents The Philadelphia Premiere Of THE HEIR APPARENT
Lantern Theater Company continues its 25th anniversary season with the Philadelphia premiere of The Heir Apparent by David Ives, adapted from Jean-François Regnard's 1708 comedy Le Légataire universel. Lantern resident director M. Craig Getting will direct a cast that includes Lantern veterans Chris Anthony, Leonard C. Haas, Adam Hammet, Dave Johnson, Mary Martello, Lee Minora, and Ruby Wolf. Theater critics and members of the press are invited to request tickets for opening night on Wednesday, November 14 at 7 p.m. by contacting Anne Shuff at firstname.lastname@example.org. The expanded six-week performance schedule runs Thursday, November 8 through Sunday, December 16, 2018; a full schedule of performances and special events is included in the fact sheet below.
In his notes for the first production of The Heir Apparent at Shakespeare Theatre Company, David Ives shared his first impression of his source material: "I had never heard of Regnard. Yet...I needed only a single reading to know I had to take on the piece. The off-color jokes made me howl even while I marveled at Regnard's facility at rendering them in graceful yet conversational couplets." Focusing on the exuberant and hilarious struggle that breaks out when the family of a wealthy geezer gets wind of his imminent demise, The Heir Apparent is Ives' second self-described "translaptation," following his similar treatment of Pierre Corneille's La Menteur into The Liar, which was produced by the Lantern in 2012. Ives' modern translations of classic French comedies have become one of his many calling cards as a writer, including The School for Lies, adapted from Molière's The Misanthrope, and Georges Feydeau's A Flea in Her Ear. Other major works include Venus in Fur, a 2012 Tony Award nominee for Best Play, and New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656, which won the prestigious Hull-Warriner Award and was produced by the Lantern in 2011 and 2012.
"The Heir Apparent is a modern take on commedia dell'arte, which since Roman times has walked a fine line between entertainment and political subversion," said Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon. "Ives' great gift is showing a seamless elision point between the struggles of the rising middle class of the Ancien Régime and modern America. The conventions of the commedia provide just enough distance for us to get a bit of perspective, but the social climbers, greedy merchants, entitled offspring, and desperate underclass in this play are in action every day across the gleaming cites of modern America."
"There is much to recognize on stage in this play," said The Heir Apparent director M. Craig Getting. "An aging man dictates the terms of his estate. A mother secures the best possible future for her daughter. Young lovers fight to be together. Servants plot and scheme to undermine their bosses. And a lawyer just tries to do his job. What makes this play sing is the way that David Ives - and Regnard before him - dials all of these understandable human impulses up to eleven. Time and money are two of the show's biggest touchstones. How much time (or money) do we have left? How much more money (or time) can I have? Why am I running out of money and time so quickly? These are big questions, so why not laugh at them?" Getting's directing credits at the Lantern include The Craftsman, An Iliad, Oscar Wilde: From the Depths, QED, Heroes, and A Skull in Connemara. Getting also serves as the Lantern's education director, overseeing the award-winning Illumination education program and The Empathy Project, the Lantern's pioneering partnership with the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.
The Lantern will delve into the world of The Heir Apparent on its Lantern Searchlight blog, available online at lanterntheater.org/searchlight. Published articles will explore the wild and witty life of Jean-François Regnard, commedia dell'arte's influence on classic French comedy, modern approaches to Molière, the French aristocracy and the rise of the merchant class, and the ingeniously inventive David Ives. New content will be added throughout the production's run.
Tickets for The Heir Apparent are $28 - $43 and are available online at lanterntheater.org or by calling the Lantern Box Office at (215) 829-0395. Student tickets are $15 in advance; $10 student rush tickets are available ten minutes before curtain with valid ID. Discounts are also available for theater industry professionals ($10 in advance or at the door), seniors 65 and up, groups of 10 or more, and U.S. military personnel. Four-play series and flex packs are also available for the rest of the Lantern's 25th anniversary season, starting at $108. Lantern Theater Company is located at St. Stephen's Theater, 10th & Ludlow Sts. in Center City Philadelphia.