Theater: A Schooling in Surveillance

TARTUFFE by Moliere; Translated by Richard Wilbur

One measure of great literature is its capacity to serve as a mirror, allowing each interpreter to see his own concerns reflected. By that standard, Rumanian Director Lucian Pintilie's vision of Tartuffe—a portrait of an absurdist, spy-flecked totalitarian state—is not only legitimate but a tribute to the hardihood of Moliere's 17th century satire of conformity and misplaced religious fervor. Pintilie's production at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis will not please purists: it is manic rather than mannered, it looks abstract and austere rather than luxuriously "in period," and it ingeniously takes liberties with the plot...

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