Posts Tagged ‘The Game’

LIVE: “The Game” @ Barrington Stage, Pittsfield [GailSez]

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
The Vicomte de Valmont (Graham Rowat - oh that profile!) and the Marquise de Merteuil (Rachel York) set the rules of "The Game" at Barrington Stage (photo: Kevin Sprague)

The Vicomte de Valmont (Graham Rowat - oh that profile!) and the Marquise de Merteuil (Rachel York) set the rules of "The Game" at Barrington Stage (photo: Kevin Sprague)

When I saw Les Liaisons Dangereuses at Shakespeare & Company in February of 2010, it struck me as a sort of pre-television reality show The Real Nobility of 18th Century Paris, only you, the audience, are the intrusive camera catching all the naughty goings-on. The Game is a musical version of that play which was adapted by Christopher Hampton in 1985 from the 1782 novel of the same name by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. God forbid we ever get musical reality TV, but this dark frolic almost makes me think it might work. Here composer Megan Cavallari and librettists Amy Powers and David Topchik have set wickedness to music and come up with a deeper and more serious work than Hampton managed create.

What Laclos (1741-1803) wanted to accomplish with his writing (his career was primarily in the military) was to “write a work which departed from the ordinary, which made a noise, and which would remain on earth after his death.” He wrote in the epistolary style, meaning that the novel consists of letters between the characters, and Powers and Topchik have retained more of that feel by opening most scenes with songs that in turn begin with the “letter writer” addressing the audience as if we were the intended recipient of the message.

Laclos set his novel in his own time, and, although he lived to see the revolution that decimated the lives of the people on whom he based his fictional characters, there is no foreshadowing in his tale of sexual intrigue amongst the upper classes, nor did he return to rewrite his novel to reflect the dramatic change in French society after 1789.

Click to read the rest of this story at GailSez.

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Warning: Barrington Stage Company’s New Musical “The Game” is Very Seductive Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, August 19th, 2011
Rachel York as The Marquise in "The Game" (photo by Kevin Sprague)

Rachel York as The Marquise in "The Game" (photo by Kevin Sprague)

Finally, I am no longer a virgin. For years I have listened jealously to enthusiastic tales of The Game, a musical based on the book Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1782) which had its first airing eight years ago in Sheffield. It was new, original and daring then, and still is. It is just one of the many fine and unusual productions that Barrington Stage Company (BSC) did in rented halls and schools in South County as it established itself in the Berkshires. These successes both inspired and propelled the company to buy its own theatre and move the heart of theatrical activity in the Berkshires to Pittsfield.

Though I had fleetingly read excerpts and condensed versions of the book Les Liaisons Dangereuses, seen and loved the movie, and even seen the play lavishly staged in recent years, the fact that I had not yet seen the musical version was frustrating, an intellectual tease if you will.

Well now I have seen it, and The Game is still fresh and original, and it is has the ability to really suck you in to its story. Its powers of seduction are in no way diminished.

Click to read the rest of this story at Berkshire on Stage.

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