Dangerous Performances in ActorsNET’s LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES

by Wren Workman

The ActorsNET concludes its 19th season with LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES, a dark and remorseless amoral tale in which war is fought with words rather than on a battlefield.

From the moment you enter the Heritage center you will be stunned by the gorgeous set (Ken Junkins) on the intimate stage. The lighting design (Andrena Wishnie) was efficient and effective. The scene changes were slightly longer then most would prefer but it can be forgiven due to the use of the drop down platform which makes for a very good placement of certain scenes. The costuming of the show was also fairly good except for when characters discuss how Madame Tourvel dresses prudishly sharing almost no skin, when the characters comes out with a revealed chest it can detract from the show. The cast itself was strong, although not all were well cast. Cat Miller’s vision of LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES seems slightly muddled but some great actors help drive the bitterness of the story home.

DeLarme Landes and Margo O’Moore in a scene from Actors'NET of Bucks County's production of  LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES.

DeLarme Landes and Margo O’Moore in a scene from Actors’NET of Bucks County’s production of LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES.

DeLarme Landes (Vicomte de Valmont) was fantastic as the Vicomte, with a wry and knowing humor and pride. Landes is perfect at playing a man you love to hate, a woman behind me said it best “He is as slippery as a snake”. He comes across as a man who has been destroying lives for at least thirty years. Landes does still prove that age and experience can sometimes beat youth and vigor. Stephanie Smith (La Marquise de Merteuil) is a strong and beautiful actress and well cast against Landes, in their game of pit vipers and mice. She, however, kept looking away from whoever she was speaking to the moment she stopped talking to look out at the audience with a sly and malicious smile. Her otherwise impeccable performance was marred by this choice of constantly breaking the fourth wall. Margo O’Moore (Madame de Tourvel) definitely pulled off the righteousness of her character but she also brought an almost infirm waifish quality that was unexpected.

Mary Therese Carmello (Madame de Volanges) was strong, but chose to deliver some funny lines with absolutely no humor. Matthew Casidy (Azolan) was perfectly cast as the dementedly devoted manservant of the Vicomte. He brings a sorely needed humor to the show, and his foppish attitude along inspires a smile. Paloma Burr (Cecile) has an air of innocence that few could hope to capture, sadly, most of her lines were delivered in a fairly monotone voice. Linda Cunningham (Mme. De Rosemonde) was well cast as the aunt with a voice the can simply ladle on guilt. Michael Gearty (Danceny) was very well cast, he had a soft and boyish charm about him and his swordplay was the stronger in the show.

If you enjoy dark and bitter shows then LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES will be right up your alley.

by Christopher Hampton
Directed and Produced by Cat Miller
July 11 – June 27, 2014
The Actors’ NET of Bucks County
at The Heritage Center Theatre
635 North Delmorr Avenue (Route 32),
Morrisville, PA
Reservations at 215-295-3694 or actorsnet@aol.com


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