|Performed by:||Bedford, Brian|
|Performed by:||Matthews, Dakin|
|Publisher:||L a Theatre Works|
|Publish Date:||Aug 2010|
|Number of Pages:||0|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.7|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||7.0 x 1.8 x 6.9|
The French dramatist Moliere was born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin on January 15, 1622, in Paris. The son of a wealthy tapestry merchant, he had a penchant for the theater from childhood. In 1636, he was sent off to school at the Jesuit College of Claremont and in 1643, he embarked upon a 13-year career touring in provincial theater as a troupe member of Illustre Theatre, a group established by the family Bejarts.
He married a daughter of the troupe, Armande Bejart, in 1662 and changed his name to Moliere. The French King Louis XIV, becoming entranced with the troupe after seeing a performance of The Would-Be Gentleman, lent his support and charged Moliere with the production of comedy ballets in which he often used real-life human qualities as backdrops rather than settings from church or state. Soon, Moliere secured a position at the Palais-Royal and committed himself to the comic theater as a dramatist, actor, producer, and director.
Moliere is considered to be one of the preeminent French dramatists and writers of comedies; his work continues to delight audiences today. With L'Ecole de's Femmes (The School for Wives). Moliere broke with the farce tradition, and the play, about the role played by women in society and their preparation for it, is regarded by many as the first great seriocomic work of French literature. In Tartuffe (1664), Moliere invented one of his famous comic types, that of a religious hypocrite, a character so realistic that the king forbade public performance of the play for five years. Moliere gave psychological depth to his characters, engaging them in facial antics and slapstick comedy, but with an underlying pathos. Jean Baptiste Moliere died in 1673.
Theater fans will be delighted with this collection from L.A. Theatre Works, but, more important, neophytes to Moliere (1622-73) will find this set a valuable learning tool. The full-cast productions are smoothly executed despite the sometimes linguistic somersaults the actors must perform to adhere to the rhyming pattern of Moliere's plays. Some of the works prove less accessible to the modern audience, such as The Bungler, which will take the most dedicated listener to finish.
However, The School for Husbands and The Misanthrope remain great productions for this collection. While The Mistanthrope also features the established actor Martin Jarvis, the other works still maintain a high production quality by the cast, the directors, and the sound engineers. Recommended for people who like audio dramas, classic plays, full-cast productions, comedies, and satire and anyone who has to teach Moliere to students.
-Lance Eaton, Peabody, MA
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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