BeaumarchaisThe Marriage of Figaro by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais was first produced in 1784. It was his second play featuring the characters of Figaro and Count Almaviva, The Barber of Seville having previously premiered in 1775. Most people know of these plays and Beaumarchais through their experience of the operas of Mozart and Rossini. However the original plays (and adaptations) have been produced over the years and are sturdy farces for the theater even to this day.
Tonight I enjoyed the current production of The Marriage of Figaro by Remy Bumppo think theater. Their production is based on an adaptation by Ranjit Bolt and directed by Jonathan Berry, who directed the recently completed run of On the Shore of the Wide World for the Griffin Theatre Company. The Remy Bumppo update of Beaumarchais, bringing the setting of the play into the era of the 1950s, was a lively and delightfully gay farce that left the audience with smiles. The acting was excellent, but I particularly enjoyed Mary Beth Fisher as the Countess, Greg Matthew Anderson as Cherubin and in the small role of Pedrille, Kevin Viol who absolutely stole his all too brief scenes with impeccable physical comedic timing. The story is familiar to all who have seen the opera, but the choreography of all the actors (especially the servants & maids who acted as a chorus), the timing of all the performances and the delight with which each actor played their role, tongue-in-cheek, made this a fun evening of comedy and joy.