Arts & Theatre


Sex, revenge, betrayal... let the games begin. Antaeus Theatre Company presents a fully partner-cast production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Christopher Hampton’s Olivier, Evening Standard and New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award-winning adaptation of the scandalous novel by Choderlos de Laclos. Directed by Robin Larsen, Les Liaisons Dangereuses opens on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 (one opening for each cast), running through Dec. 10 at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center in Glendale. Low-priced previews begin on Oct. 19. Set among the decadent ruling class of pre-revolutionary France, Les Liaisons Dangereuses is a seductive and unsettling tale of sex, deceit, cruelty and the struggle for power in an all-too-recognizable world.

“It’s about people at the top being beyond right and wrong,” says Larsen. “About the moral rot of the social elite and the abuse of power, particularly how the powers-that-be treat women.”

Former lovers, the Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont now compete in games of seduction and revenge. Merteuil incites Valmont to corrupt the innocent Cécile de Volanges before her wedding night, but Valmont has targeted the peerlessly virtuous and married Madame de Tourvel Hampton initially wrote the play as a comment on the excesses of the 1980s — but it’s time to take another look. Set in a world where the 1% holds all the cards, it couldn’t be more timely. In 1782, Choderlos de Laclos’ novel scandalized the world. Two hundred years later, the Royal Shakespeare Company premiered Hampton’s stage adaption at Stratford-upon-Avon. The production subsequently transferred to London, where it garnered both Olivier and Evening Standard Awards, and then to Broadway, where it received a Tony nomination and won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play. It was revived on Broadway by the Roundabout Theatre Company in 2008, and a 2016 Donmar Warehouse production transferred to Broadway where the limited engagement closed earlier this year.

The 1988 film adaptation (Dangerous Liaisons), scripted by Hampton, directed by Stephen Frears, and starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer, won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Antaeus is a cooperative theater ensemble founded to empower the actor and to bring classical theater to Southern California.

Performances of Les Liaisons Dangereuses take place Oct. 26 through Dec. 10 on Thursdays and Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. (no matinee performance on Saturday, Oct. 28). Tickets are $30 on Thursdays and Fridays, and $34 on Saturdays and Sundays. Six preview performances take place Oct. 19 through Oct. 25. Preview tickets are priced at $15. Antaeus Theatre Company has partnered with TodayTix, the free mobile ticketing platform, to offer a $5 preview lottery; a limited number of $5 tickets will be made available through the TodayTix app for previews. The Kiki and David Gindler Performing Arts Center is located at 110 East Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205 (between N. Brand Blvd. and Maryland Ave.). The first 90 minutes of parking is free, then $2 per hour, in Glendale Marketplace garage located at 120 S. Maryland Ave (between Broadway and Harvard). The theater is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. For reservations and information, call 818-506-1983 or go to www.antaeus.org.

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