“Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” the steamy French tale of intrigue and seduction, will be presented by the College of Lake County Theatre department at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10; 2 p.m. Nov. 11; and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15-17 at the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts.
In this acclaimed adaptation of the scandalous 18th-century French novel, two former lovers play a game that begins as an amorous amusement but soon escalates into a brutal battle where love and sex become the weapons of war. According to the New York Post, the play promises “....An evening of high comedy, high drama and surprising passion.”
The play was written by Christopher Hampton, adapted from the novel by Choderlos de Laclos and is being directed by Craig Rich. Movie fans may recall the Oscar® award-winning 1988 film, “Dangerous Liaisons,” which starred Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Swoosie Kurtz, Keanu Reeves and Uma Thurman.
Getting Into Character
Director Craig Rich said that the theatre department tries to produce a classical or period show every year.
“I thought this would be a good opportunity for students to work with stylized mannerism and movement and to work in these amazing costumes from the opulent 18th century French time period leading up to the French Revolution.”
Adjunct theatre faculty member Beth Levine Chaitman has designed the costumes, which are being made by hand in the CLC costume shop.
“The women’s dresses and men’s costumes very complex and ornate,” Rich said.
To get the female actors used to moving about wearing wide skirts (supported by frames called paniers) and restrictive corsets, they rehearse in period appropriate garments to help them understand how clothing affected posture and movement, he said.
“It was all about appearances and distinguishing the upper from the lower classes in that time period. Vanity is very important to these characters and that’s ultimately what destroys some of them,” Rich said.
“The play is just as much about psychology as it is about the seduction. The characters seduce the audience into liking them. Then we realize they’re manipulating each other. There’s a lot of revenge going on, which starts as a game that later becomes something much more serious.”
Valmont: Jason Clark (Waukegan); La Marquise de Merteuil: Susan Love (Grayslake); Azolan: Andy Montano (Mundelein); Mme. de Volanges: Shannon Day (Antioch); Cecile Volanges: Hannah Shepherd (Antioch); Danceny: Anthony Maggioncalda (McHenry); Tourvel: Ashley Rodriguez (Hainesville); Mme. de Rosemonde: Barbara Harmon (Lake Villa); Emilie: Savannah Thomas (Winthrop Harbor); Adele: Ashly Codd (Waukegan); Major-domo: Rodrigo Arreola (Lake Bluff); Footman: Abraham Cervantes (Waukegan).
Regular $10; CLC/Senior/Teen/JLC Subscribers $8. Special ticket offer: Buy one, get one free on Nov. 9 and 15. Prices include $1 JLC facility fee.
Submitted by the College of Lake County