Berkeley Rep’s tart and tangy Tartuffe keeps the faith

Mar 21

Berkeley Rep’s tart and tangy <i>Tartuffe</i> keeps the faith

Faith is one of the most valuable and powerful things human beings have to give away, and anyone who takes advantage of that faith with anything less than sincerity and devotion qualifies as the most heinous of villains. That's why Molière's Tartuffe is so damn funny...and dark...and unsettling.

The oft-banned 1667 satirical comedy has had a long history of production and controversy over the last 350 years, and director Dominique Serrand's new production – a co-production of South Coast Repertory (where it opened), Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. – add an admirable chapter to the play's history.

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Berkeley Rep’s Doctor is in… and out of his mind

Feb 16

Berkeley Rep’s <i>Doctor</i> is in… and out of his mind

Maybe it's a simple case of the winter blahs, but early 2012 has been kind of a drag. There have been high points to be sure, but people seem to be struggling and fighting and dragging around more than usual. Or maybe it's just me.

Whatever, the blahs were relieved for a blissful 90 minutes thanks to Molière, or at least an utterly revamped, absolutely hysterical, bawdy as all get out adaptation of Molière by Christopher Bayes and Steven Epp now at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Epp, as you may recall, was part of Theatre de la Jeune Lune, which, sadly, no longer exists, and he made fairly regular visits to Berkeley Rep, with the most memorable probably being in The Miser.

He's back, not only as co-adaptor, but as the star of A Doctor in Spite of Himself, a minor Molière play that offers major entertainment value in this new version, expertly directed (and carefully calibrated) by Bayes.

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