Towering Twin Titans of Theatrical Triumph

by News Bureau on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 10, 2011 — In a dazzling team-up worthy of the great comic book superstars, Tim Mooney will partner two of the greatest playwrights of all time in a tag-team display of stamina, talent and memory, combining his two one-man shows, “Molière than Thou” and “Lot O’ Shakespeare,” into an astonishing single evening of 17th century passion, drama and hilarity at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

Also on Oct. 23, Mooney will also present a master class at 1 p.m. in the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre. The class is open to the public.

Over the past 10 years, Mooney has introduced more than 100,000 students to the uproarious French playwright in his hit play, “Molière than Thou.” With the addition of “Lot O’ Shakespeare,” Mooney presents an astonishing introduction to two of the greatest writers of Renaissance and Reformation in a mesmerizing and thrilling one-two punch.

As Molière, Mooney captures the playwright, still alive and funnier than ever. Mooney’s Molière speaks English and is every bit as insightful, ribald, irreverent and enthusiastic as the first time around.

Mooney depicts Molière, abandoned by his cast and desperate to retain the box office income, parading through the most side-splitting scenes of French history, all the while getting the audience in on the act.  “Molière than Thou” reinvigorates some of the most beloved plays of all time, winning “Best of” from the San Francisco Fringe Festival and named first among the “Top Ten Artistic Events of 2006” from the Chattanooga Pulse. Orlando Fringe Festival reviewers raved “Clearly Molière lives,” “A delight for all those who appreciate the barbed satire and slyly nuanced language in Moliere’s classic skewering of the rich and pompous.”

Following a brief intermission, Mooney returns with “Lot O’ Shakespeare,” celebrating possibly the most soaring speeches, outrageously tangled scenarios, wicked double-entendres and delicious soliloquies ever written. Mooney has memorized one monologue from every Shakespeare play, and the order of their performance is chosen entirely at random by the spinning of a Bingo cage. The audience plays along on their individual “IAGO” cards, and the first to match four play titles in a row wins a T-shirt. While the game turns it all into fun, the audience discovers Shakespeare’s genius coming to life in passionate scenes of action, character and power.

Mooney’s performance is literate, enthusiastic and athletic, bounding from Shakespeare’s hilarious comedies to his passionate tragedies to his epic histories, all at the drop of a ping pong ball. Audiences are astonished to discover how contemporary, vivid and playfully fulfilling these plays are, whether cheering the battle cries of “Henry V,” feeling chills down their necks during “Julius Caesar,” laughing over “Comedy of Errors” or awing at the beauty of the sonnets. Somehow, Mooney manages to find the dramatic power in each monologue or situation, and reviewers have repeatedly celebrated how completely accessible these pieces are.

Tickets are on Sale Now.

Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at RiverCampusEvents.com.