August 17, 2022

Moliere’s “The Miser” opens this weekend

CEU’s theatre department’s second show of the year opens, October 28, with The Miser, a French comedy written by Moliere.   The show runs through Tuesday (November 2) with a curtain time of 7:30 p.m.
The story is about the old skinflint Harpagon, or The Miser,  who has decided it’s time to marry off his children. He’s found an old man who won’t demand a dowry for his daughter, Elise, and a rich widow for his son, Cléante.

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This archived article was written by: Melissa Spencer

CEU’s theatre department’s second show of the year opens, October 28, with The Miser, a French comedy written by Moliere.   The show runs through Tuesday (November 2) with a curtain time of 7:30 p.m.
The story is about the old skinflint Harpagon, or The Miser,  who has decided it’s time to marry off his children. He’s found an old man who won’t demand a dowry for his daughter, Elise, and a rich widow for his son, Cléante.
But Elise is already in love with Harpagon’s servant, Valere. And Cleante, who spends money as passionately as his father hoards it, is enamored of the penniless Mariane.
Harpagon, however, has already decided to take Mariane for his own wife. Convinced his children are plotting to rob him blind, he proceeds with his own arrangements until, to his horror, he discovers that the fortune he buried in his garden has been stolen.   In his panic he  has Valere arrested and the children’s plot  begins to unravel.   But with a few twists in the end everyone ends up happy.    
Jean-Baptise Paquelin, otherwise known as Moliere, wrote The Miser in 1668. The initial performance met with less than enthusiastic reviews, but experienced a comeback shortly after the death of the playwright. The son of a wealthy merchant, Moliere turned his back on the family enterprise to pursue the life of an actor and playwright.
Initially, his works raised the ire of various court and church officials, but his use of the folies not of the elite but of the common man gradually won over his audiences since at the time there was a fashionable fetich regarding the life-styles of the lower classes. Moliere, like Shakespeare, combined farcical comedy with the more polished court humor, creating appeal for all viewers from the groundings to the elite.  
This play is being directed by Ward L. Wright, this season’s guest director.   Wright is a technical director at Brigham Young University.    
The Miser’s cast includes Amy Anderson as Elise, Scott Westwood as Valere, Mike Mackley as Cleante, Paul DeWitt as Harpagon, Thomas “Bo” Brady as La Fleeche, Angie Roundy as Frosine, Sheri Gillies as Mariane, Matt  Bitner as the first Servant and Justice, Sam Bailey as the second servant, Jacob Dickey as Seigneur Anselm, and clerk, and Thomas Garcia as Jacques.

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