March 29, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - A scurrilous rumor circulating for the last 300 hundred or so
years, suggests that Molire is dead, the victim of a coughing seizure amid the performance
of his final play, The Imaginary Invalid. Molire is alive and better than ever, and performing under the name Timothy Mooney.
Not only is Molire still alive, but he speaks English, and is every bit as insightful,
ribald, irreverent and enthusiastic as the first time around. Come see Molire Than Thou, coming to the Young Main Lounge of the IWU Memorial Center (104 University Street)
at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 2, 2010. Admission is free to this event.
Mooney’s work with Molire goes well beyond his celebrated, manic performance of 10
of his monologues. Mooney has re-written 15 of Molire’s plays in their entirety, bringing
a dexterity of English speech to these works which were so dazzling in their original
French. This language barrier has distanced Molire from the English-speaking audience,
which has never appreciated him as well as his renaissance brother, Shakespeare. Molire Than Thou finds a Molire who stands toe-to-toe with Shakespeare, trading brilliant couplets
late into the night.
In the course of his 85-minute one-man play, Mooney seduces the audience with a complexity
of language that is a sensual delight. Parading through the best loved plays of France’s
history, Molire Than Thou reinvigorates renaissance theatre, the court of Louis XIV, and the vision which generated
some of the most beloved plays of all time.
Mooney’s performance is literate, enthusiastic, and athletic. The play won a “Best
of” award from the San Francisco Fringe Festival, and was listed first of the “Top Ten Artistic Events of 2006” from the Chattanooga Pulse. In its Orlando Fringe performances, the press raved “Clearly Moliere lives,” “A
delight for all those who appreciate the barbed satire and slyly nuanced language
in Molire’s classic skewerings of the rich and pompous.” Winnipeg Fringe reviewers
celebrated: “The listener can draw all the available pleasure from the splendid speeches
penned by the man considered the French Shakespeare,” and commended “Mooney’s unbelievably
expressive eyes and fabulous facial expressions.” The New York media exclaimed, “Move
over Richard Wilbur, Timothy Mooney is the real deal … A very tight performance which
should be seen by any aspiring actor who wants to tread the boards.” One audience
member cheered, “I’ve seen the Comedie Francaise, and they’ve got NOTHING on this guy!”
For more information, contact Jim Matthews at (309) 556-3571.
Contact: Sherry Wallace, (309) 556-3181
“Molire Than Thou” Reviews
Best of Fringe: Best Adapted Work
San Francisco Fringe Festival
The audience is enthralled … Move over Richard Wilbur, Timothy Mooney is the real
deal. … A very tight performance indeed, which should be seen by any aspiring actor
who wants to tread the boards. The only thing to anticipate is when will there be
a New York performance of a full length Moliere/Mooney play with an ideal cast, and
an edition of his translations in print. — George Psillidies, nytheatre.com
#1 of the “Top Ten 2006” One-of-a-kind … original, weird and seriously funny … one
of the most creative and refreshing pieces of classical theatre I’ve seen in years.
… Mooney’s translations make Molire’s 17th century language instantly accessible.
His interpretations were crisp, stylized and sang with the comic genius of the playwright’s
original intent. — Ruth Cartlidge, Chattanooga Pulse
Playwright-actor Tim Mooney has become playwright-actor Jean Baptiste de Poquelin,
a.k.a. Molire” …in Mooney’s own artful translations…The humanities are in safe hands
this year. — San Francisco Bay Guardian
“A” … For 75 minutes, this production transports us to Paris of 1671 where we meet
Molire (or a really playful rendition of him) ... Mooney bounds into the role of actor-playing-actor-playing
actor [with] unbelievably expressive eyes and fabulous facial expressions. He’s a
delight to watch, his memory is remarkable … and he looks like he’s having so much
fun. — Janice Sawka, Uptown (Winnipeg)
**** Outstanding ... He brings the words of this 17th century playwright to life
with his animated performance... There were a number of patrons who found the performance
too short, because they could have listened to Mr. Mooney all day. — Ken Gordon, CBC
What Mooney captures so deftly … is how skilled Molire was in painting scathing portraits
of the rich and pompous … the listener can draw all the available pleasure from the
splendid speeches penned by the man considered the French Shakespeare. — Kevin Prokosh,
Winnipeg Free Press
With just a costume, a series of wigs and a knack for the language he gives you a
good idea of the foolishness, the conniving, the boasting and the masquerading that
goes on whenever you see one of Molire’s plays. … Clearly Molire lives. — Alan Hindle,
Mooney is clearly enraptured by the great French playwright … The translations are
wonderful. … well worth seeing, both for those familiar with the work and those looking
for an accessible introduction. — Amy Barratt, Montreal Mirror
… Sparkling eyes, infectious grin and elastic face … the consummate over-the-top showman.
— Robin Chase, The Jenny Revue
Quick Plot summary:
"Molire than Thou" finds Moliere alive and well, if a little bit freaked out from
his fellow performers all having come down with food poisoning from eating "the same
sort of shell fish." Given that his company is in the middle of a capital campaign
to buy new curtains, he cannot just refund the audience's money, but offers instead
to share what bits and pieces he can perform on his own. Fortunately, he originally
played most of the leading characters in his various plays, and the King's quirky
demands for command performances from the back catalogue have kept a large array of
characters fresh in his memory.
As such, he moves from "School for Wives" to "Bourgeois Gentleman" to "Tartuffe,"
"Scapin" and "Precious Young Maidens" with surprising ease, constantly employing (some
say exploiting) members of the audience as his scene partners and objects of attention.
It's a 17th Century rogues gallery of Fops, Scoundrels, Cuckolds and Conniving Servants!