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French kissed and dissed
Dangerous Liaisons at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival
By Ava Baccari, Photo courtesy of Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Still reeling from the summer love affair that scorched and dipped faster than you could say So long, Farewell? The 13-week fling with a certain enchanting Duke-Christopher Plummer’s Prospero at the Stratford Festival’s production of The Tempest– springs to mind. Put The Sound of Music on pause- there’s plenty of hot-blooded passion left at this season’s festival.
The summer heat has passed but leave it to the French to keep the flame burning well into the coolness of fall as lovers, seducers and players tangle themselves in trysts and beds in Christopher Hampton’s Dangerous Liaisons. Adapted from the text Les Liaisons Dangereuses by French novelist Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, the production runs until October 30 at the Festival Theatre.
A sultry and seductive Tom McCamus stars as Vicomte de Valmont, who strikes a deal with his former chérie, Seana McKenna’s Marquise de Merteuil, to get back at her current beau, Danceny, by sleeping with his fiancé, Cécile. Sound messy? The tricks and treason are just beginning as the stakes— jealousy, marriage and an illegitimate child— threaten the games of the morally barren pas de deux.
Stroll through late-18th century Paris as director Ethan McSweeny brings to life the delectable pleasure of seeing the Oh-mon-Dieu romps of a catty bourgeois class tightly wound in their rigid corsets. Add a rock’n’roll musical score, a burgeoning female sexual empowerment movement, and a few glasses of scotch, and the production satisfies our what-if curiosity for a Mick Jagger-Marie Antoinette hookup.
The Deets: Dangerous Liaisons, Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Directed by Ethan McSweeny. Until Oct. 30. For tickets, call 1.800.567.1600