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Article

TARTUFFE

Posted on

Tartuffe

type:
Stage
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
01/09/03-02/23/03
performer:
Brian Bedford, Henry Goodman, J. Smith-Cameron
director:
Joe Dowling

We gave it a B+

(Through Feb. 23) In one corner, there’s Brian Bedford — mainstay at Ontario’s Stratford Festival, too-infrequent Broadway visitor, and perhaps contemporary theater’s finest interpreter of the classics. In the other, Henry Goodman — the cream of the U.K. crop, acclaimed in shows from Chicago to The Merchant of Venice, renowned for his well-publicized dismissal as Nathan Lane’s replacement in The Producers. These two theatrical heavyweights duke it out in an elegant and often riotously funny revival of Moliere’s 1664 verse play. As a well-to-do sucker, Bedford proves unexpectedly poignant; as the titular con man who snookers Bedford out of his house, his fortune, and, nearly, his wife, Goodman is a greasy (and greasy-haired) delight. But the real thief is fabulous J. Smith-Cameron, who, playing a tart-tongued maid, practically steals the show.