Harpagon of the Warehouse District

Last night, I saw the new production of Moliere’s The Miser at Theatre de la Jeune Lune. This is actually a collaboration between Jeune Lune, Boston’s American Repertory Theatre, and the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and the show has already been staged to great acclaim in those two cities. I’m happy to report that it’s right up there with the best of Jeune Lune’s previous work.

Jeune Lune is the type of troupe that most theatergoers either love or hate. All the actors have trained at the French acting school known as Ecole Jacques Lecoq, which stresses movement and space above all else. Slapstick is a part of nearly every one of their shows, and there is a decided scatological streak running through much of the dialogue and action they create. The star of most Jeune Lune shows is the wildly talented Steven Epp, and The Miser is no expection, with Epp hurling himself around the stage as the stingy and malevolent title character. Several other actors turn in spectacular performances as well, notably Sarah Agnew, Nathan Keepers, and Vincent Gracieux.

What I love about Jeune Lune is the way they can make old material seem new, and even though I’m not a huge fan of Moliere, I really enjoyed this production. The company had a bit of a rough run last year, with two shows in a row drawing next to nothing in the way of audience. Hopefully, Minneapolis is ready to embrace them again.

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