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Say a little Moliere for you: A modern ‘Miser’ in P’Slope - Brooklyn Paper

Say a little Moliere for you: A modern ‘Miser’ in P’Slope

None the miser: Caroline Ryburn as Frosine and Ezra Barnes as Harpagon rehearse a scene from “The Miser.”
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Almost three centuries before Scrooge McDuck and his freeloading nephews, there was this guy.

The Brave New World Repertory Theatre is performing the 17th century dark comedy “The Miser” at the Grand Prospect Hall throughout January. French playwright Moliere penned the work in 1668, but a spokesperson for the company said the show’s theme of greed is still very relevant on and off stage in 2015.

“The play is surprisingly apropos for today — a harsh indictment wrapped in pastel-colored candy coating,” said Shannon Sindelar, the producing artistic director for Brave New World.

“The Miser” centers on wealthy but frugal father Harpagon and his adult children who, like many Millennials today, still live at home. But Sindelar said instead of helping his kids, the tightwadded Harpagon heckles them during their adventures into adulthood.

“Our contemporary take, re-imagined as a fable about the 1 percent and performed in modern dress, shines a spotlight on the economic dependency of a new generation of 20- and 30-somethings still living at home with their parents and, consequently, under their thumb,” she said, adding that the theme is more relatable than ever for a large group of today’s young people and their parents.

Also modernized is the production’s music, which Sindelar described as “eclectic art rock, played on the piano.” And she said that while the play’s caustic dialogue has not been updated, it feels just as modern as the subject matter.

“This was written in the 1660s, but it has more a contemporary feel in the humor,” said Sindelar. “Our whole mission is to surprise our audience with unusual experiences that enhance the storytelling.”

“The Miser” at the Grand Prospect Hall [263 Prospect Ave. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope, (212) 352–3101, www.brave‌newwo‌rldre‌p.org]. Jan. 6–7, 13–14, and 20–21 at 7 pm. $18–$25.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle‌@cngl‌ocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.

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