The Word is Absurd
Written by Moliere
Directed by Mark Prascak
At the Adams House Dining Hall
Thursday and Friday
MOLIERE was a rhyme-happy guy;
He coupleted his lines to be wry.
Though some think he was a bit trite,
I still rather like the playwright.
The Misanthrope I think to be a fine play,
Though I admit the verse can sometimes be fey.
It's about poor Alceste (Sean Sebastian), who is smitten
By the charms of Celimene (Ginna Carter), a local society kitten.
He generously offers his love,
Yet she coldly turns him away with a shove.
For among her many suitors she cannot decide,
Which one she'd prefer ultimately to abide.
Disturbed by her manipulative ways,
Alceste thus ends up in a misanthropic malaise.
Not satisfied with Moliere's original, director Mark Prascak chooses to play with his play,
Thinking his inventions quite funny, though at times, I'd say, "Nay."
He wildly asserts a parallel with Ionesco and the Theater of the Absurd,
Therefore rendering the original play completely blurred.
Yet I do somewhat fancy some of the things that he does,
But if you ask me why, I can only answer, "Because."
Prascak has the audience encircle the stage,
As the actors roam about fully engaged. He calls this innovation "theater in the maze" as the actors move from spot to spot,
Yet the Globe Theater, Adams House Dining Hall is most definitely not.
Sans light and sans props this is minimalism at its best,
But for the actors who grope in the dark it proves a difficult coordination test. Though they do carry flashlights to spotlight their faces,
It's not really their fault if they stumble at places.
The actors try to be cucumber cool, Amidst a play which breaks each and every rule.
Sean Sebastian as Alceste has an edge to him that renders him sour,
He is both grouchy and mean, his acting most definitely has power.
Celimene, played by Ginna Carter, tries her best to be the perfect "soc,"
Yet her affected apathy struck me as gauche.
Oronte (Todd Brun), one of Celimene's suitors,
Had an odd sort of Bugs Bunny accent in which he wooed her.
Celimene's spacy cousin, Eliante (Natasha Shapiro) is more of a ham, Despite a dress that makes her look like Miss Havisham.
Arsinoe (Eliza Rosenbluth) Celimene's back-stabbing pal,
Was played out most sinisterly to be a mean gal.
As for Philinte (Adam Hyman) and Celimene's other "Bo Fo" admirers, One wishes only that they could act with more fire.
Music director Gary Susman has an eclectic array of tunes to toot:
Beethoven's Seventh, Die Walkure, Mission Impossible and the "Pac Man" theme, to boot!
Yet the party most culpable for this theartrical arrest,
Is Mark Prascak, the master of this absurdist fest.
Prascak attempts to be clever, clever, But being clever just once would probably have been better.
He alludes and convolutes, abstracts and demures,
One wishes he weren't so Joycean and could save all these blurs.
Yet there's something kind of catchy to it all.
Despite its strangeness, I think you'll have a ball,
Provided of course you be careful not to fall.
(Warning: The chairs are propped on top of tables.)
So don't miss Prascak's Le Mis(anthrope), if you're able.
See it as many times as you can,
And maybe then, you too will understand.
Editors' Note: As we go to press, we understand,
Le Mis(anthrope) will be performed as planned
Rumors that the show was to be cancelled are wrong;
On Thursday and Friday at 8:08 and 11:11, the show will go on.