Porchlight Theatre Company announced they will stage a classic dramatization of wanton intrigue and aristocratic power plays in a new production of Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Twisted gender roles, brazen sexuality, and self-interest run amok in a performance parable that is eerily relevant to our times. Co-directors Ann Brebner and Ken Sonkin lead a distinguished cast in a richly conceived production. Hampton’s exploration of silk-stockinged evil is adapted from the 1782 novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, who said of amorous pursuits, “Once one becomes interested in the game, there is no knowing where one will stop.”
Say co-directors Ann Brebner and Ken Sonkin, “On the surface, Les Liaisons Dangereuses may seem like a period piece about the decadence of the nobility on the eve of the French Revolution. But when held, like a mirror, up to our own times, the play offers an uncanny reflection of the dangers of the corporate greed, government corruption, and apathetic and self-interested culture that characterize current-day American civilization.”
Les Liaisons Dangereuses tells the story of the Vicomte de Valmont, who is hell-bent on seducing the monogamously coupled and faithful Madame de Tourvel. Simultaneously, the Marquise de Merteuil has set her sights on the corruption of young Cécile de Volanges, whose mother has had her recently removed from the care of a convent so that she may marry a rival of Merteuil. Cécile, however, falls in love with her music tutor, Danceny. When the tantalizingly wicked and pleasure-seeking scoundrels, Valmont and de Merteuil, discover this liaison, they pretend to ally themselves with the young lovers, vowing to keep their confidence while plotting to use the secret to fulfill their own amorous designs. A complicated unfolding of interconnected and self-serving schemes and betrayals ensues with reputations ruined, and billowing negative outcomes for all. Les Liaisons Dangereuses is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Preview performances are Thursday and Friday, June 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m.; opening night is Saturday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m. and features a post-performance champagne reception. Performances will continue through July 10, Thursdays-Sundays at 7:30 p.m. (no show Sunday, July 4 or Sunday, July 11; added performances Monday, June 28 and Wednesday July 7) at the Redwood Amphitheatre at the Marin Art and Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in Ross.