Midwinter Comic Relief

“Before the world was populated by soap operas and reality shows, not to mention thousands of blogs, tweets and op-ed columns, intellectual discourse was mostly a face-to-face affair.” – Larry Murray, Berkshire On Stage (a great source of information on all things stageworthy in the Berkshires).

That’s just the thing. Indeed, before there were soap operas…there were the plays of Moliere. Clever, devilish, hilarious and over the top, Molière was a playwright with a mission: to make as much fun of hypocrisy, arrogance, and aristocracy as possible and oh…did he make fun. And his brand of fun wasn’t just fun in the 17th century, it’s still fun now!

Two Berkshire theater groups, Shakespeare & Co. and Williamstown Theatre Festival, celebrate hilarity this winter with two different Molière scripts: The Learned Ladies and The Misanthrope.

Shakespeare & Co.’s The Learned Ladies runs until March 25. It’s chock full of love, and the brutal but funny journey to the decision as to which part of the brain you allow to determine love’s course. Will it be the logical part, or the warm, squishy part? Seems a timely dilemma for the month of love, n’est-ce pas? A dilemma made timeless through Molière’s humor…

The Misanthrope will be presented as a reading on February 27th, at the Clark Institute, as a fundraiser for Higher Ground, an organization dedicated to disaster relief in the Berkshires in the wake of Hurricane Irene. As with all things Molière, The Misanthrope skewers human behavior in allegedly polite society, and with brutal comedy. When Alceste, the central character vows to tell nothing but the truth at all times…well, I’m sure you can imagine how well that works out for him! A suggested donation of $10 gets you an evening of hijinks and, as a bonus, that same $10 supports good work in the Berkshires.

Two great plays, one great playwright. Two reasons to come visit the Berkshires and stay with us at Hampton Terrace.