MOLIERE THAN THOU
nytheatre.com review by George Psillides
The 17th century French farceur
Jean Baptiste Poquelin de Moliere is temporarily holding court in the
East Village, sans a French accent. None of zee usual clichs.
Mister Timothy Mooney makes a point of that with his fresh translations
of eight monologues all done in verse, accompanied only by a trunk on
stage where he changes into assorted wigs and costumes seamlessly. Each
being introduced by Moliere to the audience in the intimate Red Room.
August 15, 2003
For seventy five minutes the audience is enthralled, first by Arnolphe from the play The School for Wives (1662) and. M. Jourdain/The Philosophy Master from The Bourgeois Gentleman (1670). Then Mooney takes it to another level with his translation of Tartuffe (1664-1669). Move over Richard Wilbur, Timothy Mooney is the real deal. Then it's off to the races with the trifecta of Sganarelles from Don Juan (1665), The Doctor in Spite of Himself (1667), and The Imaginary Cuckold (1661). The highlight of the evening is The Schemings of Scapin (1671), in which Scapin weaves in and out of the audience. Winding down Moliere Than Thou is Mascarille from The Precious Young Maidens (1659).
A very tight performance indeed, which should be seen by any aspiring actor who wants to tread the boards The only thing to anticipate is when will there be a New York performance of a full length Moliere/Mooney play with an ideal cast, and an edition of his translations in print.