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A CurtainUp Review

Double Infidelity
By Amanda Cooper

 Rachel Botchan & Christopher Moore
Rachel Botchan & Christopher Moore
(Photo: Codie K. Fitch )
Ah, The Eighteenth Century! I could not help but chuckle at these lovestruck couples, their notion of infidelity, and how quickly they had decided they found true love. Ok, so this naïveté is abundant in classic plays, but it's still pretty funny.

Double Infidelity's premise is straightforward enough: A charming, working-class girl named Sylvia has captured the heart of her cleverly disguised prince. Though she is attracted to this "servant" she loves and is loyal to Arlequin, the unmannered yet charming fool from her town. The prince summons her to the castle, Arlequin follows. As Sylvia continues to fall for the still disguised prince, Arlequin develops feelings for Flamina, a court lady. I'm not going to tell you how this play ends since your conjecture is bound to be right on.

If you are craving a fresh adaptation or perspective on a classical comedy, The Pearl Theatre Company's current production will not satisfy that appetite. But if you are looking for a light, traditional take on Marivaux, by all means make your way to this East Village theater. Though director Beatrice Terry, has historically worked on such edgy shows as Lesbian Pulp-o-Rama, she shows a good feeling for the traditional with Double Infidelity. Though her staging is peppered with cute, quirky movements, there are no surprising departures from the classicals norm.

The odd choice in this production is the decision to use a Commedia style mask only on Arlequin. True, Arlequin, in name and character represents the most obvious tie to this form of theater, but it creates an odd schism between him and the rest of the cast.

The actors create a solid ensemble together, all bringing honesty to their traditionally portrayed characters. Rachel Botchan as Sylvia was appropriately beaming and energetic. Cameo role award goes to Sean McNall, whose portrait of the Lord is surprisingly dry, yet super-funny.

Editor's Note: Marivaux has enjoyed something of a "comeback" in recent years. You'll find some more background on him in some of the reviews below:
Triumph of Love
The Inconstant Lovers
Triumph of Love a musical adaptation

Double Infidelity
Written by Marivaux, English version by Oscar Mandel
Directed by Beatrice Terry
Cast: Dominic Cuskern, Rachel Botchan, Celeste Ciulla, Allison Nichols, Christopher Moore, Scott Whitehurst, and Sean McNall
Set Design: Sarah Lambert
Lighting Design: Stephen Petrilli
Costume Design: Liz Covey
Sound Design: Walter Trarbach
Running Time 2 hours, 40 minutes including two 10 minute intermissions

The Pearl Theatre, 80 St. Mark's Place, 212.598.9802 or
February 14 - March 21st, opening night February 22nd at 7pm.
Tuesday 7pm, Wednesday 2pm, Thursday 8pm, Friday 8pm, Saturday 2pm and 8pm, Sunday at 2pm.

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6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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