Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton opens at The Laboratory Theater of Florida on April 15 and plays through May 7.
Using sex as a weapon, this is a tale of seduction. Set among aristocrats before the French Revolution, the classic drama (adapted from the 18th-century novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos) explores decadent sexuality, morals, and manipulation as the ultimate game played – with tragic results. This play is sensual, with a biting wit and a healthy dose of lust, intrigue, and sexual gamesmanship that will keep you on your toes until the final scene.
Director Paul Graffy says, “What is most interesting to me about Les Liaisons Dangereuses is not what these characters do, but why they do it in the first place, and what the end results are. Madame Rosemonde so prophetically states near the end of Act One, ‘The only thing that might surprise one is how little the world changes.’ That line resonates very deeply with me. Cruelty to others as sport is not unique to this story or historical period. It is as prevalent today as it was dramatized over two centuries ago. Think cyberbullying, anonymous blogging, social media, etc. With the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to see that, as many societies evolve, the polarities between the haves and have-nots widen, and political revolutions arise. How many major revolutions have we witnessed
in just the past few years or are happening now? This production presents the artifice that defined late 18th-century France as we strive to expose what lies beneath that artifice. We also look to explore the timelessness of these abhorrent behaviors in an effort to recognize, albeit sadly, ‘How little the world changes.’”
The cast features Sonya McCarter (Merteuil), Steven Coe (Valmont), Chloe Elliot-Chan (Tourvel), Cameron Rogers (Danceny), Daniel Sabiston (Azolon), Adrial McCloud (Cecile), Gerrie Benzing (Volanges), Amanda Collins (Emilie), Tracy Weaver (Rosemonde), Emarie Wakefield Spiller (ladies maid), and Mark King (Major Domo). Costume design is by Ariana Davis.
Due to mature themes and nudity, no one under 18 will be admitted. Performance dates are April 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30 and May 5, 6 and 7 at 8 p.m.; April 17, 24 and May 1 at 2 p.m. Half-price previews are set for April 13 and 14 at 8 p.m. If socially distant seating is required, call the box office to arrange it. Masks are required to be worn when inside the theater. For tickets, guests may call the box office at 239-218-0481 or go online at www.laboratorytheaterflorida.com. The Laboratory Theater of Florida is located at 1634 Woodford Ave. in Fort Myers.