Tartuffe at Shakespeare Dallas Review

This past Wednesday I dragged my parents out, packed our lawn chairs and a picnic and went to see Tartuffe at Shakespeare Dallas. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Shakespeare Dallas, they are a theater company who, every summer, puts on plays by Shakespeare and the playwrights he inspired outdoors at Samuel Grand Park.. The casts and crews are made up of professional actors and theatrical designers, and the shows are always top quality. Tartuffe was no exception. This translation of Moliere’s script maintained the rhyming couplet style of the original French play, so it worked well as an accompaniment to Shakespeare. By modernizing the sets and costumes, the design of the show helped to make it more relatable to the audience. My mother and I were especially fond of Elmire and Marianne’s colorful, flouncy dresses. Another favorite design element was the sound design. All of the music added to the bright, hurried atmosphere of the play, while still utilizing classical scores. In particular, the last scene not only had some excellent music that was perfectly comically timed, but also utilized, with the microphones, quite masterfully an echo effect. I was duly impressed. One more impressive aspect was, of course, the acting. All of the actors were hilarious and fully committed to the over-the-top style demanded by the show. From the very sweet, “bless her heart”, Marianne to the sassy, outspoken Dorine, there were a wealth of different characters to root for. For his part, Tartuffe played his role very well. While I loathed the character, I admired the acting. Every actor had created a unique character that was wonderful to watch. Overall, it was a hilarious and well-done show. Going to Shakespeare in the Park is always a highlight of my summer. I highly recommend their shows, which run Tuesday- Sunday nights through July 19, to anyone in the Dallas area. And if you can’t make it out to see the show, the script of Tartuffe is also a hilarious and quick read. I can’t wait to go back to Samuel Grand next week to see Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

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