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Molière/Shakespeare tag team

Barry McNamara
03/09/2011
In a tag-team display of stamina, talent and memory, Tim Mooney will combine his two one-man shows – “Moliére Than Thou” and “Lot o’ Shakespeare” into an evening of 17th-century passion, drama and hilarity on March 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Monmouth College’s Wells Theater. The performance is free and open to the public.

As Molière, Mooney captures the playwright, still alive and funnier than ever. His Molière now speaks English and is every bit as insightful, ribald, irreverent and enthusiastic as the first time around. With original material, Mooney depicts Molière, abandoned by his cast and desperate to retain box office income, parading through the most side-splitting scenes of French history, all the while getting the audience in on the act.

“Moliére Than Thou” won a “Best of” honor from the San Francisco Fringe Festival and was named first among the “Top Ten Artistic Events of 2006” from the Chattanooga Pulse.

Following a brief intermission, Mooney will return to the stage with “Lot o’ Shakespeare,” celebrating the most soaring speeches, outrageously tangled scenarios, wicked double-entendres and most delicious soliloquies ever written.

Mooney has memorized one monologue from every Shakespeare play, and the order of their performance is chosen entirely at random by the spinning of a Bingo cage. The audience plays along on their individual “Iago” cards, and the first to match four play titles in a row wins a T-shirt. While the game turns it all into fun, in the process the audience discovers Shakespeare’s genius coming to life in passionate scenes of action, character and power.

Although both of the playwrights that Mooney celebrates were prominent figures of the 1600s, they did not co-exist. Shakespeare died in England in 1616, while Moliére was born in France in 1622. So to see them together on the same night, Mooney’s tag-team performance is the only way.