La Bete Reviews for Hirson's Comedic Play

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Music Box Theatre

249 West 45th Street

1 Hour 45 Minutes No Intermission

October 14, 2010 (Closing February 12, 2011)

Broadway Play - Comedy

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La Bete reviews and tickets will transfer from the West End's short, yet successful run, straight to Broadway for fall. Matthew Warchus will revive the American playwright, David Hirson 1991 comedic play and bring it to the big stage of the Music Box Theater with previews beginning on September 23, 2010. The play was inspired by the French playwright and actor Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, more well known for his stage name "Molière." The Broadway production includes a star-studded and talented cast which includes Olivier and Tony Award winning actor, playwright and director Mark Rylance and Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce.

Hirson's comedic play is written in iambic pentameter, told almost completely in rhyming couplets. The stage is set within France during the 17th century and pits artistic integrity against forming trends of populism. Told from the point of view of Elomire (David Hyde Pierce) the dignified and favored playwright of the royal court theatre troupe. Elomire is persuaded to bring the odious street entertainer Valere from the Prince Coniti, one of the theater's patrons. Elomire protests strongly and lashes out violently to the idea but in the end is forced to put on one of Valere's own plays. The actions of taking in the street performer and putting his play on the stage drastically changes the future for all involved as well as the theatre company itself.

The powerful opening scene is perhaps the highlight of the entire play, so much so it leaves the rest of the show struggling to compare and make the price of La Bete reviews and tickets well worth it. The play begins with the frivolous buffoon Valere in a thirty minute long-winded nearly an entirely uninterrupted rant. He belches with spit flying through his wooden teeth, misquotes Cicero and continues to praise his own genius while almost remaining incoherent. The opening scene provides theatrical comedy and acting in its most superb form, right down to every single facial expression. Rylance's comedic and acting chops certainly steal the scene as well as the show. The rest of the cast is left behind his shadow. This includes David Hyde Pierce's role as Elomire, who, for the most part, is present only to witness and react to the foppish Valere with alarm and disgust, all the while never sacrificing his ideals and beliefs.

La Bete reviews and tickets sold on Broadway back in 1991. The original production opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on February 10th but only ran for twenty-five performances after 15 previews. The Broadway play was produced by Stuart Ostrow and Andrew Lloyd Webber and directed by Richard Jones. London's West End had found greater success with the production where it has gone on to become a commercial success and receive strong reviews from critics, even winning the Olivier Award for Best Comedy. Though it's debuted run on Broadway is considered a failure the play has found an audience in the many regional theater's in which La Bete tickets are very popular. La Bete ran for about a month over the summer between June 26 and August 28, 2010 at the Comedy Theatre. La Bete tickets are on sale now for the Music Box Theatre's opening night on October 14, 2010 so grab a seat and enjoy the laughs!

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