In part, the press release for The Rehearsal reads:
The Rehearsal is a rip-roaring madcap satire play-within-a-play which boasts a lavish display of 16th and 17th century period costumes of original design. The comic farce features silly players who galumph and posture their way through the play, making sport of the social conventions and the pompous theatrical practices of the time. Nothing makes sense, or does it?
"It's possibly the first absurdist play," says Christy Leitchy, director of Cité des Arts, where the play runs this weekend and next at 109 Vine St. Curtain is 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday; as well as next week, too, beginning on Thursday evening. "It's a script Mel Brooks based The Producers on."
The Rehearsal is about a playwright who believes he is savvy to the newest trends in drama and literature. He gets a couple of gentlemen to see his “future hit,” they find it, well, absurd.
"It's great laughs and everybody could use a great laugh right now," Leitchy says. "It's like Monty Python. It's very goofball. It's really hard to describe except that it's really goofball."
Lauren Greene Whyte produces and directs the play. The longtime theatre actress, writer, director with Lafayette Community Theatre, Abbey Players and Eavesdrop Theatre also made the costumes.
The Rehearsal, performed first in 1671, was penned by the infamous court wit, George Villiers. It is 60 years post-Shakespeare (just past the Cavalier/Musketeer period in history). Lafayette is the second city in the U.S. to produce the play (The American Shakespeare Center in Virginia was the first to perform the play in their 2011 season).
Other features are the period dance numbers performed with live instrumentation with music and instruments contemporary to the period. Another audio sensation is the voice of alto soloist, Virginia Warnken, a native of Lafayette, who is presently a graduate student with Yale School of Music in New York City. Warnken allowed Cite to use her recording of Handel’s “Solomon.”
Tickets are $15 and available here or by calling 291-1122.