|Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Jan. - Feb. 2006|
From the Press Release of the Huntington Theatre, announcing their 2005-06 season:
Les Liaisons Dangereuses
by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Daniel Goldstein
January 6 - February 5, 2006 at the Boston University Theatre, Main Stage
Desire and deceit have powerful consequences in this seductive and fiercely witty look at games of love and lust in 18th century France. Seeking revenge on a former lover, the beautiful and cunning La Marquise de Merteuil enlists her partner-in-crime Valmont to seduce the lover's young bride in this thrilling adaptation of the classic novel by Chodleros de Laclos. As Valmont carries out their cruel plan, he is unexpectedly stricken with remorse and real feeling for one of his victims. Television and stage star Michael T. Weiss, who appeared in the Huntington's production of "Burn This" last fall, will star.
Subscription and ticket information:
Subscriptions packages of four, five, six or seven plays for the Huntington season are now on sale. Tickets for individual performances go on sale Sunday, August 14 at noon, ET. Ticket buyers can subscribe online at the Huntington Theatre, by phone at 617-266-0800 or by mail. For more information, call the Huntington Theatre Company box office at 617-266-0800.
Source: Huntington Press Release
12-8-05: Cast announced for Les Liaisons Dangereuses
Games of love and lust in 18th century Paris play out on a stunningly stylized, mirrored stage as the Huntington Theatre Company presents Christopher Hampton’s award-winning play “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” from Jan. 6 to Feb. 5, 2006 at the Boston University (B.U.) Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston.
In this seductive and fiercely witty drama, the beautiful and cunning La Marquise de Merteuil (played by Tasha Lawrence) enlists her partner-in-crime Le Vicomte de Valmont, (TV and movie star Michael T. Weiss), to seduce her former lover's bride-to-be in this adaptation of the original novel by Choderlos de Laclos.
Director Daniel Goldstein has opted for a stylish, non-classical approach to what he calls "a massive production." The multi-layered set, designed by Drama Desk Award-winner James Noone, is a dizzying array of mirrors, staircases, and spirals that Goldstein describes as "a cyclone swirling around Valmont that makes the play move like lightning."
Goldstein says the costumes, by newcomer Erin Chainani, are inspired by contemporary fashion "with the silhouette of period clothes, but not the traditional fabrics. Some of Valmont’s clothes in this show are inspired by Karl Lagerfeld’s personal style. And one of Madame de Volanges’ gowns is an 18th Century version of Hillary Clinton’s inaugural dress."
An original score, created by composer Loren Toolajian is inspired by a modern jazz harpsichord composition. "Loren broke the rules for period music .... the score has a pounding, pulsing feel to it," Goldstein says.
This production contains nudity and adult situations.
The cast of the Huntington’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses includes:
Jeff Barry - Le Chevalier Danceny ; James Bodge - Major-Domo ; Alice Duffy - Madame de Rosemonde ; Seth Fisher - Azolon ; Jennie Israel - Émilie ; Louisa Krause - Cécile ; Tasha Lawrence - La Marquise de Merteuil ; Ann Talman - Madame de Volanges ; Michael T. Weiss - Le Vicomte de Valmont ; Yvonne Woods - La Présidente de Tourvel
Calendar Notice - Related Events:
Jan. 10 Sneak Preview: Presentation by a member of the Huntington’s artistic staff, featuring contextual background and production-related information, 6:30pm in the theatre. Free with ticket purchase; call 617-266-0800.
Jan. 11 Press Night: Media only. 7:30pm
Jan. 12 Night Club: For theatregoers 35 and under to mingle with staff, artists, and each other. Pre-show reception at 6pm and post-show backstage tour included. Free with ticket purchase; call 617-266-0800.
Jan. 19 College Night: For college students to mingle with staff, artists and each other. Post-show party and backstage tour included. Free with ticket purchase; call 617-266-0800.
Jan. 22 Humanities Forum is a lively discussion about the issues and ideas presented in the production, featuring M.I.T. professor and French historian Jeffrey Ravel. After 2pm show. Free with ticket purchase; call 617-266-0800.
Jan. 25 Out & About Club: For members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities to mingle with staff, artists and each other. Pre-show reception at 6pm at Top of the Hub Restaurant and a post-show backstage tour included. Free with ticket purchase; call 617-266-0800.
Jan. 27 ASL-Interpreted Performance: For audience members who are deaf, this 2pm performance will be interpreted in American Sign Language. Call TTY 617-424-0694.
Jan. 19 and Feb. 1 Actors Forum: Participating members of the Les Liaisons Dangereuses cast will appear after the 2pm performance to answer audience questions. Free with ticket purchase; call 617-266-0800.
For more information read the Huntington press release.
1-4-06: Weiss cranks up the heat again at Huntington
By Terry Byrne - The Boston Herald
After coming on hot and heavy last season in ”Burn This,” actor Michael T. Weiss returns to the Huntington Theatre Company on Friday to play a different kind of heartthrob.
”When I played Pale I thought he was a devil on the outside and an angel on the inside,” says Weiss, best known for his starring role in TV’s ”The Pretender.” But in ’Les Liaisons Dangereuses,’ Valmont is the exact opposite.”
In Christopher Hampton’s sharp drama, the Vicomte de Valmont engages in a sexy and sinful game with his friend La Marquise de Merteuil to seduce her former lover’s innocent bride-to-be. As they plot and plan, deception and attraction merge in a story line that becomes as much thriller as love story.
Weiss says director Daniel Goldstein is turning the play’s 17th-century setting on its ear. ”We’re doing a sexier version of the story, and the costumes move from the 17th and 18th centuries to modern dress and also work in nudity, tattoos and leather,” he says. ”There’s also lots of kissing, so if anyone gets sick it will go through the cast like wildfire.”
Although he’s accustomed to playing handsome heavies, Weiss says Valmont is a challenge.
”I’ve always wanted to play this role,” he says. ”He’s deliciously manipulative and swashbuckly, but he’s also more effete than most of the guys I get to play.”
But Weiss seems able to maneuver Hollywood typecasting fairly well. He’s got no less than five films waiting for release in which his characters range from a drug lord to someone involved with the fashion industry. With a busy schedule on the West Coast and a possible New York play in the offing, how does Weiss fit in work at the Huntington?
”I fell in love with Boston when I was here for ’Burn This,’ which was the first time I’d been on stage in more than a decade,” he says, ”and I just wanted to get back here.”
He was so eager, he enrolled at Harvard last summer for an art history course. (”I got an A-, too,” he says proudly.)
”You don’t appreciate it when you’re here all the time, but it was just so cool to be on that campus in Cambridge,” he says. ”And, as an actor, all those cliches about Boston audiences turn out to be true. They’re smart, they listen, they get it.”
”Les Liaisons Dangereuses,” presented by the Huntington Theatre Company at the Boston University Theatre, Friday, Jan. 6 - Sunday, Feb. 5.
Tickets: $15-$70. Call 617-266-0800 or go to bostontheatrescene.com.
Source: Boston Herald
1-11-06: The Huntington Theatre has added a batch of new photos taken by T. Charles Erickson during the play to the two previously released promotion stills of Michael T. Weiss as the Vicomte de Valmont with Louisa Krauss as Cécile.
Very large versions of these yummy photos (especially the one of the bed scene) can be downloaded here.
For the time being, more about "Les Liaisons Dangereuses", like interviews with cast members, articles and reviews can be found in both the 2005 Archive and in the 2006 Archive.
For print ads, scans of the programme, official photos from the production and from fans (Thanks to Mercy!) meeting Michael T. Weiss after the last performance click here. [Password = Pretender]
I had the good fortune to meet Michael and talk with him after the show on January 20.
Read my review on the three performances on January 18-20 that I attended, and the report on the events in the Specials section, 2-9-2006.