BY CLIFF KASDEN
Seventeenth century elegance crashes head first into 1980s rock irreverence in Titan Theatre Company’s all female version of Moliere’s “Tartuffe.”
On opening night, a lavish set (Natalie Taylor Hart, Tracie Van Law) blends with bizarre yet paradoxically attractive make up and colorful costumes (Anthony Paul-Cavaretta).
The gender bending, all-female cast is powerfully effective and the rhyming dialogue throughout the entire comedy is translated from the original French (Richard Wilbur). The actors maximize this linguistic leap of faith with well-played facial expressions, physical movements and above all — comedic timing!
Artistic Director Lenny Banovez returns with his award winning wife Laura Frye (as Elmire). She leads the way in what effortlessly morphs into a combination satire, farce and very slapstick comedy. The chilling, unscrupulous Tartuffe is played with absolute dominance by Laura Menzie. The role of his favorite fool, Orgon, is portrayed with comedic confidence by artist in residence, Annalisa Loeffler.
The story itself focuses on a con man who uses false piety to steal a wealthy family’s most prized possessions, which includes his beautiful daughter Mariane (Psacoya Guinn).
The plot’s twists and turns are still relatable more than 300 years after its first presentation. The skillful interweaving of modern attitudes and ancient dogmas add to the play’s humor and believability.
Kudos to the entire cast including Analiese Puzon, Alyssa Van Gorder, Wesley Cady, Rachel Davenport, Julia Klinestiver, Dominique Rose and Gracen Barth. Nods as well to behind the scenes support from David G. Jackson, Marcus Denard Johnson, Nils Fritjofson, Tamir Eplan-Franklin, Ariana Ortmann and Chrissy Taylor.
For information on this and their future productions, call 718-760-0064, surf to www.TITANtheatrecompany.com or check other social media resources. As always, save me a seat on the aisle!