When Molière’s Tartuffe was first performed in 1664 at the Versailles court of Louis XIV, a subsequent hue and cry was raised by France’s most ostensibly devout men who pressured the king to suppress the play.
Their reasoning might have tipped their hand a bit, for Moliere’s target is not the truly devout, but the hypocritically pious who use religion as a means to an oftentimes selfish end. Fast forward to 2007, and one could easily argue that Tartuffes still walk the Earth, and as in Ranjit Bolt’s updated adaptation at the University Theatre, to hilarious consequences.
Wealthy and gullible Orgon is charmed by his new friend Tartuffe’s extreme devotion and piety. Unfortunately, Tartuffe is anything but, a fault easily seen by almost all of Orgon’s family and friends. Worse, Tartuffe plans to steal everything Orgon holds dear, including but not limited to his wife, Elmire.
Tartuffe will open in the Seney-Stoval Chapel Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. It will run Jan. 26, 27 and 31, and Feb. 1, 2 and 3 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 4 at 2:30 p.m. Regular admission is $12; admission for UGA students and senior citizens with ID is $10. Tickets are available at the University Theatre box office.