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‘Tartuffe: Born Again,’ a hilarious, modern-dayadaptation of Molière at Theatricum Botanicum

‘Tartuffe: Born Again,’ a hilarious, modern-dayadaptation of Molière at Theatricum Botanicum 

Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum presents a hilarious satire about greed, corruption and hypocrisy at its beautiful outdoor venue in Topanga. In Tartuffe: Born Again, translator and adaptor Freyda Thomas puts a contemporary spin on the original French play, recasting Molière’s Tartuffe as a deposed televangelist who takes advantage of his naïve and gullible host to rook him and his family of their money. Moliere’s legendary comedic characters are wonderfully at home in this present day version, which is set in a religious television studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and written wholly in delightful modern verse. David DeSantos (last seen at Theatricum as Coriolanus) headlines in the title role, and the production is directed by Melora Marshall.

“How do you stop an invasive, cultish worm who uses lies of Biblical proportions to wind his way into your family life, your town, your city… your country?” asks Theatricum artistic director Ellen Geer. “Through the brilliant storytelling of Molière and Freyda Thomas’ clever adaptation in rhyming couplets, we watch a Southern family in the 1980s begin to recognize a taker in their midst. Hilarious mayhem ensues as they recognize the danger, rise up and remove the culprit.”

Tartuffe: Born Again will run in rotation every weekend with The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Wendy’s Peter Pan, each of which open earlier in the season. Upcoming, The Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx/Latiné Vote, a new political comedy by Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award-winning playwright Bernardo Cubría, will join the repertory season on August 24. Other events taking place at Theatricum this season include comedy improv with Theatricum’s resident troupe Off the Grid at the end of each month (June 28, July 25, Aug. 30, Sept. 26); the Under the Oaks salon series on Fridays in September, and Theatricum’s fourth annual Holiday Family Faire on Saturday, Dec. 14.

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