I hadn’t been to a play at Delgado Community College in Mid City, New Orleans, since they opened the expansive Timothy K. Baker Theatre. Great venue! The show, Moliere’s Tartuffe, from the age of Louis XIV, was lavishly performed in period sets and costumes (set dir. James Means, costume design by Cecile Casey Covert and Shelby Lynn Marie Butera).
The set was gorgeous, with the possible down side of very limited set changes through the course of the play. Director Kris LaMorte did a great job blocking and managing at least 11 characters with speaking roles, and pulled the best from each actor, as each contributed with full personality to the scenes at hand. A few with smaller parts could have done a better job with vocal clarity, but this was hardly noticeable as the principal actors kept the rollicking comedy of hypocrisy and misdirection going. Orgon (Ryan J. Vidrine), Dorine (Gabriella DiMaria) and Tartuffe (Brian C. Rosenthal) were all excellent, but the showstopper in this production was the grand dame of the family, Madame Pernelle (Magnus McConnell). McConnell’s part was not large, but from costume and makeup to the magnificent vocal delivery of aristocratic affectation to her command of the stage, she left the strongest imprint.
Bravo to the whole crew at Delgago, who have proven once again that a solid community college theater department, with passion and joie de vivre, can stage productions every bit as good as those at big league (and better funded) universities.
(Images from Delgado Community College website and Facebook page)
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