La Bete, David Hirson's satire on art for entertainment's sake, ends its scheduled run at Santa Clarita Repertory, Feb. 27. The show, directed by Gabrielle Brewer-Wallin, inaugurated the company's new, 81-seat theatre Jan. 21.
Nominated for five Tony Awards, La Bete is formed on the style of a Moliere comedy and told entirely in rhyming couplets. Part of its claim to fame is the 20-minute opening monologue delivered by the clown Valere, the "beast" of the title. A low comedian, Valere is adopted -- with disastrous results -- into the theatrical company of an "art for art's sake" group led by Elomire. Hirson's second play, Wrong Moutain, is currently playing on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill and also concerns itself with issues of low versus high art.
Christopher Neiman stars as Valere with Bruce Marshall Romans as Elomire. Also in the cast are Geordie MacMinn (Bejart), Albert Dayan (Prince Conti), Kristin Wiegard (Dorine), Robin Eriksen (Catherine De Brie), Steven Hamblin (De Brie), Kari Leigh Floyd (Madeline Bejart), Jennifer Grose (Marquise Therese Du Parc) and Nico Sirianni (Du Parc).
Designing La Bete are Sean McMullen (sets), Heather Stagl (lighting) and Dominic Kramers (sound).
Tickets are $15 and are available by calling the box office at (661) 222 7278. Santa Clarita Repertory's theatre is located at 24266 San Fernando Road. Next up at Santa Clarita Rep is the Majestic Kid by Mark Manoff, opening March 17.
-- By Christine Ehren