March 6, 1997
Vol. 16, No. 12

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    Tartuffe, The Philadelphia Story begin in rotating repertory

    Continuing its popular tradition of performing two plays in rotating repertory, Court Theatre will cap its 1996-97 season with two classic comedies: Tartuffe, Moliere's biting expose of false piety, and The Philadelphia Story, Philip Barry's 1939 comedy of manners. The plays open with an afternoon performance of Tartuffe and an evening performance of The Philadelphia Story on Sunday, March 16.

    In Tartuffe, directed by Daniel Fish in his Chicago debut, Moliere issues a timeless warning about manipulative hypocrites who use religion to further their personal agendas. The play follows the thinly veiled lechery of Tartuffe as he attempts to beguile Orgon out of both his riches and his wife, under the guise of religious ardor.

    The sophisticated comedy The Philadelphia Story, the hit of the 1939 Broadway season, centers around the socially prominent and headstrong divorcee Tracy Lord, who is about to set her life on course by marrying self-made George Kittredge -- or so she thinks. With fast-moving dialogue, Barry crafts a playful treatise on the nature of love, reflecting on commitment, compatibility and compassion. The play is directed by Charles Newell, winner of the Joseph Jefferson Award in 1996 for his direction of Celimene and the Cardinal and in 1993 for Court Theatre's production of The Triumph of Love.

    Leading the ensemble of actors who perform in both Tartuffe and The Philadelphia Story are Lisa Dodson, Christopher Donahue, Kate Fry, Mark Niebuhr, John Reeger and Jeff Award-winner Barbara Robertson.

    Preview performances of both plays continue through March 15; tickets range from $17 to $21. Tickets for regular performances, beginning March 19, range from $24 to $32. Student rush tickets, when available on the day of the performance, are $8; senior and student discounts on advance tickets are also available. Half-price tickets (subject to availability) may be purchased in person or by phone two hours before the performance.

    For performance dates and times, see the Calendar, pages 6-7. For tickets and more information, call the Court Theatre box office at 753-4472.