“Dangerous Liasons” by Christopher Hampton offers a pair of characters with velvety voices, smooth manners and a total lack of conscience, who …
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“Dangerous Liasons” by Christopher Hampton offers a pair of
characters with velvety voices, smooth manners and a total lack of
conscience, who prey on others in their circle of acquaintances in
Paris circa 1920s.
Deliciously nasty roles for skilled actors Haley Johnson and
Nils Swanson, who portray Madame de Merteuil; and the Vicomte de
Valmont in the opening production by Spark Theatre. It takes place
in a small upstairs room with 30 chairs at one edge and a rug. But
theater it surely is.
Costumed household servants move a few prop pieces to create
different scenes: at Merteuil’s town house and at the country home
of the Vicomte’s elderly Aunt, where he stages several conquests in
this melodramatic piece. (Think soap opera with fancy words). “Love
is a medicine-used as a lubricant in nature...”
The audience can’t help but feel involved in the action, and
perhaps wonder if they shouldn’t intervene? It adds to the success
of this compelling piece, directed by Michael Emmitt, who is
bravely offering a different and appealing way to see and hear a
Kelly Reeves, the unfortunate Madame de Tourvel— one of the
Vicomte’s targets because she is pious and conservative, as well as
attractive — gives a solid performance, at times, almost in the
laps of the front row.
Another victim is the young, virginal Cecile (Mollie
Adams-Denner), suggested by Merteuil because she has attracted the
attention of the madame’s young lover Danceny (Brian Kusic).
One almost needs a score card. A steady thread is the underlying
tie between Madame and the Vicomte, which neither really
Liasons can certainly be dangerous. And in this case,
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