Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Les Liaisons Dangereuses" by Roundabout Theatre Company

Rufus Norris directed this Christopher Hampton play based on the 1782 French epistolary novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Given its novelistic origin, the play was unsurprisingly tightly plotted. The dialogue was sharp, though at times it sounded too much like Wilde's English drawing room. Laura Linney played the chilling La Marquise de Merteuil, while Ben Daniels, as Le Vicomte de Valmont, was, perhaps, a too-sympathetic egotist. Jessica Collins was heartbreakingly convincing as La Presidente de Tourvel, whom Valmont seduces and abandons. The ensemble acting was without any weak link, the efficient set just sufficient to suggest luxurious decadence. We sat in the first row of the mezzanine in the American Airlines Theatre, and had an excellent view of the sexual machinations.

The Headhunter's all-purpose five-point scale: ****1/2

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