Modern Update Underscores How
Revenge is a Dish Best Served Funny
Panic! Productions wraps up its season with a lively production of “Figaro,” Charles Morey’s acclaimed recent adaptation of the classic Beaumarchais farce, June 4 through 19 at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts in Thousand Oaks. J. Bailey Burcham directs this popular comic tale of love, deceit, mistaken identity, and comeuppance among the rich and their servants.
Considered revolutionary when it was first written in eighteen-century France, “Figaro” is the story of a scheming servant, a philandering aristocrat, and the much-smarter-than-them women that they love. Charles Morey has freely adapted the play, while keeping its basic story and its satirical bite. “Figaro” was commissioned by and had its world premiere at The Pearl Theatre Company in New York in 2012.
Panic!’s new mounting will update the action circa 1960, on the cusp of the Sexual Revolution, with a nod to the era’s fashion styles and gender roles. “The creative team put its collective head together and decided that the late 1950s/early 1960s was the perfect time to update the action of the play while still retaining its language and satirical message,” says producer Robert Weibezahl. “The women’s movement was in its infancy, and relationships between men and women—at least outwardly—were still governed by a more sexist set of rules. But it doesn’t take long to see that the men are all buffoons and the women hold all the cards.”
Appearing in “Figaro” are Matt DeNoto, Alisa De Los Santos, Georgan George, Paul Carpenter, Farley Cadena, Keith Moreton, Robert Weibezahl, Brian Felker, and Michelle Miller. The set and lighting design are by Jeff Calnitz, with costume design by Barbara Mazeika. Paul Panico teams with Weibezahl as producer.
“Figaro” opens Saturday June 4 at 8 pm and continues Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm through June 19. Tickets are $20/$17.50 students and seniors, with group rates available, and can be purchased at www.hillcrestarts.com, by calling 805/381-1246, or by visiting the box office. The Hillcrest Center for the Arts is at 403 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. Learn more at www.PanicProductions.org.