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Cappies Review: Successful 'Tartuffe' at St. Stephen's & St. Agnes - Source Connection news papers

Posted on Jan 02,2018
Filed Under Entertainment , Local Style,

From left: Campbell Weiss, Nikki Bires, and Bette Vadja in the St. Stephen's & St. Agnes production of “Tartuffe.” Photo by Melissa Maas

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By Maggie Klein, Oakton High School

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - Elvis Presley's "Blue Suede Shoes" blares, bright swing dresses twirl, and a Californian family dances out of a 1950's sitcom and onto the stage of St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School's offbeat production of the classic “Tartuffe.”

Written in 1664, this classic French comedy is one of Moliere's most famous plays. It follows a wealthy family headed by father Orgon, who falls under the influence of the deceptively pious Tartuffe. Orgon offers his daughter's hand in marriage to Tartuffe (much to young Mariane's dismay), but Tartuffe sets his sight on Orgon's wife Elmire. The story has stood the test of time and been adapted for film, television, and opera despite originally being banned by church officials for its critique on religion.

As the titular "cunning scoundrel," JP Payro embraced the complexities of the slimy Tartuffe. Whether falling on his knees in faux religious zeal or leisurely striking a downward dog yoga pose, Payro revealed just as much with his actions as with his words. Orgon (Christian Corpening) was just as physically committed as Tartuffe, and the pair played off of each other to keep long scenes lively. Corpening embodied the commanding father figure as he practiced his putt on a golf green, lunged and jumped at Tartuffe, and burst out from under tables.

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