Archikulture Digest

The Bourgeois Gentleman

The Bourgeois Gentleman

By Moliere

Directed by Kathleen Lindsay

Fight Direction by Bill Warriner

Choreography by Dion Leonhard

Starring Frank Petruccelli and Carolyn Ducker

Valencia College, FL</strong>

Isn’t this script supposed to rhyme? I can’t see who did the translation but the original is presented as a series of couplets, and somehow that was lost moving this show to English. Monsieur Jourdan (Petruccelli) has money but no status, and birth in the late days of the French empire is more important than ready cash. The Monsieur is more than happy to lend a few hundred gold Louise to Count Dorante (Celestino DeCiccio) as he seduces Marchionesses Dorimene (Courtney Yakabuski). Of course, fat old Jourdain thinks he has a shot at her negotiable honor, at least until his wife (Ducker) busts him. His own daughter Lucile (Jossette McCausland) must marry into nobility, and when she prefers a commoner it takes an elaborate yet unlikely farce to convince Jourdain to let her have the boy she wants.

Production values are high and performance skills not so much; Lydia Milich’s set looks wonderful with thrilling lighting, but the action on stage is hard to follow and often overplayed. Mr. Petruccelli talks fast but not clearly; even in the front row I had trouble following him. Ms. Ducker is the clearest and most honest actor; she’s light on fake French accent but gets her lines and her frustration across. Cleonte (Kidanny Gonzalez) and valet Covielle (Sebastian Rivera) pull off what chemistry we find here; they are one of the few pairings with a good sense of comic timing. Yakabuskis’s Marchioness is the only actor who plays for seriousness; this gives her a dignified and mysterious air that contrasts strongly with glad handing count Dorante. Jourdain is the intended fool here; his pretense is played upon by everyone but his wife, and even she now knows she got a bad deal. It’s a stage classic, but it’s a hit or miss show.

For more information on Valencia College Theater please visit > http://

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