Molière & Freyda Thomas
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Classic comedy / 5 m., 6 f. (doubling possible). / Int. This rollicking version of Les Femmes Savantes delighted audiences Off Broadway in a production starring Jean Stapleton as Philamente, a most unliterary lady intent on having a high toned literary salon. She has neither literary nor common sense, which makes her easy prey for sycophantic con artist Trissotin. He passes himself off as a famous poet and becomes a permanent house guest. Philamente hopes to marry her daughter to Trissotin, but the daughter wishes to marry the unsuitable Clitandre. This version strays from a strictly literal translation of Moliere's play, often employing anachronisms in the rhymed couplets that will appall purists and absolutely delight everyone else. If you want your audiences to roll with laughter as they watch a play by a "famous dead playwright," this version is for you. "Thomas' modernisms smartly put the satire's emphasis on the pomposity rather than the feminism of the Precieuse Movement." Variety. FEE: $75 per performance.