The Game, a Musical "Dangerous Liaisons" Starring Rachel York and Graham Rowat, Opens at Barrington
By Kenneth Jones
The sexual fencing of the 18th-century French novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" gets a soundtrack in the work's musical adaptation, The Game, opening Aug. 17 following previews from Aug. 11 in a revival by Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts. Broadway's Rachel York and Graham Rowat star.
The show was a hit for Barrington, in Pittsfield, MA, in 2003 and has since been a much-requested title in BSC audience surveys. Performances continue to Aug. 28.
Drama Desk winner Rachel York (Broadway's Victor/Victoria and City of Angels, Off-Broadway's The Best Is Yet to Come) and Graham Rowat (Broadway's Beauty and the Beast, Guys and Dolls and LoveMusik) play contentious competitors and ex-lovers the Marquise de Merteuil and Valmont, respectively.
Returning to BSC in featured roles are Joy Franz (who originated the role of Madame de Rosemonde in 2003), Analisa Leaming (Emilie), Chris Peluso (Le Chavelier Danceny), Amanda Salvatore (Opera Singer), Sarah Stevens (Cecile) and Christianne Tisdale (Madame de Volanges). Amy Decker (Madame de Tourvel) and Stephen Horst (Opera Singer) make their BSC debuts. Taylor Anderson, Michael Hewitt, Hannah Richter and Michael Wessells, BSC's Musical Theatre apprentices, are in the ensemble.
Directed by artistic director Julianne Boyd, The Game has music by Megan Cavallari, and book and lyrics by Amy Powers (Sunset Boulevard contributor, Doctor Zhivago) and David Topchik. The creative team includes choreographer Daniel Pelzig and music director Darren R. Cohen.
The scandalous sex-and-power-themed 1782 novel by Choderlos de Laclos was adapted into a popular London, Broadway (and widely licensed) play by Christopher Hampton, who was Tony Award-nominated in the category of Best Play for the 1987 Broadway production. (The play is not the source of the musical; the novel is.) There have been several film versions of the story, including "Dangerous Liaisons" and "Valmont."
Leading man Rowat told Playbill,com, "The '88 film made a big impression on me along with a riveting Toronto stage production in '91 starring Stuart Hughes, Tanja Jacobs and Seana McKenna. Valmont is a fascinating character to inhabit: a borderline sociopath actively searching out pretty things to break. What makes someone want to corrupt innocence? When someone's life is devoted to gaining and wielding control, what happens when they face the surrender of control that is love? Trying to answer these questions is what makes acting exciting for me, and hopefully the audience as well."
Of leading lady York, Rowat added, "It's a shock to meet someone as accomplished and lauded as Rachel and discover she's not only the real deal but also incredibly humble, giving, and eager to play."
The Game's creative team includes set designer Michael Anania, costume designer Jennifer Moeller, lighting designers Jeff Croiter and Grant Yeager, orchestrator Mike Morris, fight director Ryan Winkles and production stage manager Renee Lutz.
The Game plays the BSC Mainstage, 30 Union St., Pittsfield, MA. For information, visit www.barringtonstageco.org.
Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity regional theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, MA, was co-founded in 1995 by artistic director Julianne Boyd. Barrington Stage's mission is three-fold: "to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre — especially young people."
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