Games of love and lust in 18th century Paris play
out on a stylized, mirrored stage as the Huntington Theatre
Company presents Christopher Hampton’s
award-winning “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”
from January 6 to February 5, 2006.
In this seductive and witty drama, the beautiful
and cunning La Marquise de Merteuil (played by Tasha Lawrence)
enlists her partner-in-crime Le Vicomte de Valmont, (television and
film star Michael T. Weiss), to seduce her former
lover's bride-to-be in this adaptation of the original novel by Choderlos
In addition to this play, Laclos’ scandalous
story inspired numerous Hollywood re-tellings. The films "Dangerous
Liaisons" (1988, with John Malkovich and
Glenn Close), "Valmont" (1989,
with Colin Firth and Annette Benning),
and "Cruel Intentions" (1999, with Reese
Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe), all featured
versions of the original storyline, which snakes in and out of Parisian
bedrooms and salons in the 1780s.
Director Daniel Goldstein has opted for a stylish,
non-classical approach to what he calls “a massive production.”
The multi-layered set, designed by Drama Desk Award-winner James
Noone, is an array of mirrors, staircases, and spirals that
Goldstein describes as “a cyclone swirling around Valmont that
makes the play move like lightning.”
The costumes, by newcomer Erin Chainani,
are inspired by period and contemporary fashion with the silhouette
of period clothes, but not the traditional fabrics. Some of Valmont’s
clothes in this show are inspired by Karl Lagerfeld’s
personal style. And one of Madame de Volanges’ gowns is
an 18th Century version of Hillary Clinton’s inaugural
An original score, created by composer Loren
Toolajian, is inspired by a modern jazz harpsichord composition.
“Loren breaks the rules for period music…the score has
a pounding, pulsing feel to it,” Goldstein says.
Playwright Christopher Hampton’s plays include "The
Talking Cure," "White Chameleon," "Tales From
Hollywood" and "Total Eclipse."
He has translated extensively from Chekhov, Ibsen and
Moliére, as well as Odon von Horvath and
Yasmina Reza ("Art," "Life (x) 3").
He wrote the books for the musicals "Dracula" and
"Sunset Boulevard" and has won three Tony Awards,
two Olivier Awards, and the New York Theatre Critics Circle Award.
His screenplays include "The Quiet American," "Dangerous
Liaisons" and "Imagining Argentina,"
which he also directed.
Daniel Goldstein directed last season’s revival of "Falsettos"
for the Huntington. Recently, he directed "Indoor/Outdoor,"
to be produced Off Broadway in 2006, and the World Premiere musical
"But I'm a Cheerleader" for the New York
Musical Theatre Festival. His credits also include "The
Song of Songs," a musical he wrote with composer Michael
Friedman based on the Sholem Aleichem story.
A presentation by a member of the Huntington’s artistic staff,
featuring contextual background and production-related information,
6:30 p.m. in the theatre. Free with ticket purchase; call 617-266-0800.
For theatregoers 35 and under to mingle with staff, artists, and each
other. Pre-show reception at 6 p.m. and post-show backstage
tour included. Free with ticket purchase; call 617-266-0800.
For college students to mingle with staff, artists and each other.
Post-show party and backstage tour included. Free with ticket
purchase; call 617-266-0800.
Humanities Forum is a lively discussion about the issues and ideas
presented in the production, featuring M.I.T. professor and French
historian Jeffrey Ravel. After 2 p.m. show. Free with ticket
purchase; call 617-266-0800.
OUT & ABOUT CLUB
For members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities
to mingle with staff, artists and each other. Pre-show reception
at 6 p.m. at Top of the Hub Restaurant and a post-show backstage tour
included. Free with ticket purchase; call 617-266-0800.
For audience members who are deaf, this 2 p.m. performance will be
interpreted in American Sign Language. Call TTY 617-424-0694.
Jan. 19 and Feb. 1
Participating members of the "Les Liaisons Dangereuses"
cast will appear after the 2 p.m. performance to answer audience questions.
Free with ticket purchase; call 617-266-0800.
For tickets and information, call 617-266-0800, stop
by the box office at 264 Huntington Avenue, visit www.huntingtontheatre.org