Theater: Old Plays in Manhattan

L'lmpromptu de Versailles and Les Fourberies de Scapin (by Molière) opened the Comédie Française' three-week visit at the City Center by happily passing up fanfare for fun. With such full-length classics as Molière's Tartuffe and Racine's Britannicus to follow, a troupe that matches polish with perkiness leaped in with minor Molière and made it seem, in a dreary season, a major evening even for those with shaky French. The two works, moreover, make a pleasant contrast.

Concerned with rehearsing something rushed into production on Louis XIV's orders, L'Impromptu wags a finger in several directions:...

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