Thursday, July 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

WOH spins a rich tale with ‘The Miser’

By
From page A9 | November 06, 2013 |

www.facebook.com/amyshumanphoto

Rodger McDonald portrays the penny-pinching Harpagon in the Woodland Opera House production of the classic farce "The Miser," which opens Friday, Oct. 25. Courtesy photo

Check it out

What: “The Miser”

Where: Woodland Opera House, 340 Second St.

When: 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 17, with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, Nov. 9

Tickets: $25 adults, $23 seniors, $12 children 17 and under; balcony seats are $15 general, $7 for 17 and under

Info: Call 530-666-9617 or visit www.woodlandoperahouse.org

The Woodland Opera House’s Rodger McDonald has directed a production of Moliere’s farce, “The Miser,” and wisely cast himself in the title role. This is the kind of role that McDonald does so well, and once again he shines in this production.

Harpagon is a penny-pinching irascible old skinflint fixated on his fortune; he may well have been the inspiration for such characters as Scrooge McDuck, Oliver Twist’s Fagin and Jack Benny. He has money hidden all over his house and has buried some of it in the garden, and spends all of his time skulking around, afraid that someone will discover his hiding places. He insists that banks are not to be trusted (hmmm…)

Supporting McDonald is a uniformly talented cast including Matt Wieringa as Cleante, Harpagon’s style-conscious son. Cleante is in love with the neighbor Marianne (Jen Smuda-Cotter), whose only fault is that she comes from a poor family and has a sick mother, and thus is no fitting bride for his son, according to Harpagon, though he fancies the comely maid himself.

In the meantime, Cleante’s sister Elise (the captivating Sara Matsui-Colby) is in love with Valere (Matt Taloff in an outstanding performance), who has taken a job as steward to Harpagon in order to be near Elise. But Harpagon has plans to marry his daughter off to a wealthy man of his own choosing, Seigneur Anselme (Steve MacKay).

The action picks up when Harpagon announces he plans to marry Marianne immediately, but assistance comes in the person of the matchmaker Frosine (Analise Langford) whose quick thinking helps to smooth things over. Langford has some of the funniest lines in the play (“What’s the point in marrying an old man if widowhood was not in the marriage contract?”)

Through it all, Harpagon is focused on keeping track of his money and, when some of it disappears, he demands that everyone be arrested — those in the house, in the town, in the suburbs and even in the audience — as he breaks the fourth wall to accuse members of the audience of being in on the plot to rob him.

It’s a fast-moving, convoluted plot that is only resolved by discovery of heretofore hidden blood lines linking some of the members of the cast.

Even before the story begins, the audience is in for treats by the “zanies,” masked figures who act as clowns (and later become characters within the play, and then back into their zanies attire again). Director McDonald explains that these are “the spirits of drama originating from Commedia which comment and interact with the story, along with moving the furniture.” They have evolved into our modern-day circus clowns.

Set design for this production is by John Bowles, who has created a utilitarian set with Harpagon’s ingenious chair at the center.

Denise Miles’ costumes are beautiful, except for Harpagon, whose tattered bedclothes and threadbare head covering reflect the miserliness of his soul.

“The Miser” is not necessarily a non-stop laugh riot, but for an evening of fun and diversion, it definitely fits the bill.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Teens lead the way in fight against cancer

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    USDA predicts record almond haul in California

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Diplomas all around for professor and sons

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Consumption guidelines for Cache Creek fish updated

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

     
    Davis Flea hosts night market Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Free technology help offered to seniors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Contestants sought for Yolo County Fair Queen contest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Parents can learn all about IEPs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Museum sells market bags as fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    City of Davis recruits for its advisory commissions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Local singer/songwriter will perform Friday on KDRT

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Zip Book: Request it, read it, return it

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Act now to support middle school students

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Don’t tell me I can’t help him

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Water trains through Davis

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Water storage must be a priority

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    The real problem isn’t conflict, it’s violent conflict management

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    UCD coach has navigated a Maze of experiences

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lethargic and roster thin, Post 77 loses Area 1 opener

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Pence outscores Phillies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Quincy Amarikwa: years in the making

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Area sports briefs: Nelson earns All-Academic honors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    Youth roundup: Aftershock finishes second in tournament

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Majka makes winning look easy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Transportation fellowship goes to Aggie

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Arts

     
    ‘South Pacific’ storyline still making waves

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    ‘The Miracle Worker’ auditions set for WOH

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, July 24, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8