Ramirez and Innvar Spar in The Game, New Musical About Dangerous Liaisons

News   Ramirez and Innvar Spar in The Game, New Musical About Dangerous Liaisons Sara Ramirez and Chris Innvar headline Barrington Stage Company's world premiere, The Game, the new musical based on Les Liaisons Dangereuses, the company announced.

Ramirez, seen in Broadway's A Class Act and Capeman, will play Madame Merteuil, and Innvar, a veteran of New York's A New Brain and Floyd Collins, will be Vicomte de Valmont. The work plays the BSC mainstage Aug. 7-23, under the direction of artistic director Julianne Boyd.

The Game's book and lyrics are by Amy Powers and David Topchik, with music by Megan Cavallari.

BSC presents at the Consolati Performing Arts Center in Sheffield, MA.

For information about Barrington Stage Company, now in its ninth season, call (413) 528-8888 or visit www.barringtonstageco.org.

* The Game is a new musical version of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, the durable, nasty tale of sexual power and revenge. The show is inspired by the Cholderos de Laclos novel of aristocratic sexual games in 18th-century France.

BSC workshopped the project in the summer of 2001 and then again in May 2002.

Here's how BSC bills the show: "The Game, set in the decade before the French Revolution, is a fascinating study of a dissolute aristocracy about to perish. The notorious story centers around the charming but vicious Madame Merteuil who plots revenge against a lover who has jilted her. She enlists another former lover, Vicomte deValmont, to seduce a young woman who is betrothed to Merteuil's target of revenge. The Machiavellian machinations of the 18th century aristocracy wreck havoc on all concerned, foretelling the demise of the ruling class."

Co-lyricist/librettist Topchik is the general manager of Theatreworks USA in New York City and formerly of Playwrights Horizons and Atlantic Theater Company. In addition to The Game, he has written several non musicals, including Natalie Wood is Dead and The Pragmatic Errors of John Case.

Co-librettist/lyricist Amy Powers has written lyrics for Tony- and Oscar-winning shows and films, as well as for multi-platinum pop and country artists. She achieved international renown through her collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber on "As If We Never Said Goodbye" and "With One Look" from Sunset Boulevard. Her newest song, "Bring on the Day," performed by Charlotte Martin, is the opening song for Disney's movie, "Sweet Home Alabama," starring Reese Witherspoon. Powers also co-wrote Lizzie Borden, the musical.

Composer Cavallari has created music for theatre, television and film, including pieces for Warner Bros., Paramount, Fox, Geffen, HBO and Showtime. Her musicals have been produced at Theatre Under The Stars, The Ordway, The Mark Taper Forum, The Lambs Theater, 5th Avenue Playhouse, The Living Arts Center and the York Theatre.

"Les Liaisons Dangereuses" caused a scandal when it was published in 1782; for many years, even after attempts to ban and destroy it, it remained one of the most sexually explicit books ever circulated, until the 20th century. Several film versions were made, including "Dangerous Games" and "Valmont."

Christopher Hampton penned a popular stage version that played London (a Royal Shakespeare Company production) and Broadway (and later regional theatres). It was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play in 1987. Lindsay Duncan and Alan Rickman (later partners in Private Lives in the West End and Broadway) were also Tony nommed for their leading performances. Howard Davies directed.

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The Barrington season will also include Lobby Hero, The Shape of Things, Funny Girl and a second world premiere, Mark St. Germain's Ears on a Beatle, July 9-23. Dan Lauria (TV's "The Wonder Years") and Bill Dawes (Off-Broadway's Gross Indecency) are featured.

"Inspired by once-confidential FBI files, this new comedy explores the relationship between two surveillance agents assigned to John Lennon during the years he resided in New York City," according to the Ears On a Beatle announcement. "The play spans the tumultuous 1970s as the FBI agents discover that there are no secrets in America but the truth."

St. Germain's best-known work may be Camping With Henry and Tom. Ears On a Beatle and The Shape of Things are on the Stage II season at BSC.

Once Upon a Mattress will be the BSC's youth theatre entry, playing two weeks in Sheffield (July 16-27) and two weeks at Springside Park in Pittsfield (July 30- Aug. 10).