Les Liaisons Dangereuses Review - An Enlightening Portrait Of Pre-War French Aristocracy

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American Airlines Theater

227 West 42nd Street

Two hours and 40 minutes with one 15-minute intermission

May 1, 2008 (Closing 29 Jun 2008)

Broadway Play (Drama - Dark Comedy)

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The decadent and indulgent life of the French aristocracy in the pre-war era is brought to life in the play Les Liaisons Dangereuses, according to the Les Liaisons Dangereuses review. This Tony Award-nominated play marks the return of Academy Award and Tony award nominee Laura Linney to Broadway as the clever and confident Le Marquise de Mertuil. In Christopher Hampton’s seductive classic, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Linney is cast alongside Ben Daniels who is the dashing Vicomte de Valmonte. Directed by Rufus Norris, the play is utterly sensual, peculiarly naughty and completely immoral. The cast also includes Siân Phillips, Jessica Collins, Mamie Gummer, Kristine Nielsen, Benjamin Walker, and Rosie Benton among others.

What The Reviews Have To Say

According to Les Liaisons Dangereuses reviews, the play is a superlative depiction of the battle of the sexes. In the play, the Vicomte is challenged to a grand game of seduction by his friend and rival, the Marquise de Mertuil. After several unexpected twists and turns, their dangerous game spirals into a fierce battle to the last person standing. Sprinkled with betrayal, passion and dramatic revenge, Les Liaisons Dangereuses is an exciting dark comedy that reveals the utter indulgence and decadence of pre-war French aristocracy. The Les Liaisons Dangereuses reviews state that this totally powerful and intelligent play has been fully appreciated by the viewers in the superb production by Christopher Hampton.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses reviews tell that though Laura Linney who makes her return to Broadway has been miscast as the Marquise, she still turns in an impressive performance. Linney has managed to carry on with both a film as well as a stage career with films such as Mystic River, Kinsey, Love Actually and You Can Count On Me being done amid Broadway productions such as Sight Unseen, The Crucible and Uncle Vanya. Ben Daniels who makes his Broadway debut in this production is immensely charismatic and effortlessly suave in his portrayal of the seductive Valmont. His silky vocal tones and commanding physical presence lend to the credibility of the seductive prowess of Daniels’ character as Valmont. Mamie Gummer, the daughter of Meryl Streep, Kristine Nielsen, Jessica Collins and Sian Phillips turn in commendable performances. The elaborate musical interludes rather than enhancing the dramatic elegance of the play, break the flow of the show.

The costumes designed by Katrina Lindsay are an elegant mixture of brocades and silks. The sets, superbly designed by Scott Pask transports the viewers from Paris to the countryside, from a salon to a boudoir all with the clever use of drapes. Scott Pask cleverly employs the use of drapes to camouflage the many acts of sexual coupling happening onstage. Recapturing the magic of the 1980’s adaptation of the pre-revolutionary French novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos may be difficult. Three movies including the 1999 teen movie “Cruel Intentions” starring Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar have been created by Hollywood based on the novel. Les Liaisons Dangereuses reviews claim that the initial screening of the play on Broadway by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1987 seemed far more sophisticated and unrepentant than the revival opened in Broadway by the Roundabout Theater Company.

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