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'Golden State' updates Moliere to 21st century

  • A song-and-dance number in "The Book of Mormon," as seen at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York. The smash hit by "South Park" ...

    Boneau / Bryan-Brown

    A song-and-dance number in "The Book of Mormon," as seen at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York. The smash hit by "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker will come to Seattle on Jan. 8.

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By Theresa Goffredo
Herald Writer
Published:
  • A song-and-dance number in "The Book of Mormon," as seen at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York. The smash hit by "South Park" ...

    Boneau / Bryan-Brown

    A song-and-dance number in "The Book of Mormon," as seen at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York. The smash hit by "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker will come to Seattle on Jan. 8.

"The Golden State": Setting Moliere in modern times in a hedonistic corner of Southern California is perfect placement for this farce about a miserly mom so obsessed with money that she'll do just about anything to make a buck.
That includes marrying her young son off to a wealthy 68-year-old golf widow and selling out her daughter's womb.
"The Golden State" is based on Moliere's classic comedy "The Miser."
The Phoenix Theatre in Edmonds presents this 21st century reincarnation, which takes place in 2005 where there are cell phones and the continued worship of the mighty dollar.
In the original "Miser," the traditional character is a man. Here, the star is Gertrude Hopper, who is living in her dilapidated mansion, ruling with an iron first over her servants and children.
"The beauty of Moliere is the characters are timeless and are archetypal," director Eric Lewis said.
Gertrude is played by Melanie Calderwood, Phoenix theater founder, artistic director and longtime veteran actor known for her comedic expertise.
"The original character was obsessed with younger women and the playwright did a good job of switching the character to a female because now Gertrude is after a boy toy," Lewis said.
The show also includes young lovers who are very much in love with love, a duel with golf clubs and the surprise discovery of where Gertrude hides her money, Lewis said.
"This show is what I like best, the dark farce," Lewis said.
"I try to explain to people that comedy is showing our humanity, the mistakes, not the pretty side, and this one really does that. And hopefully people will laugh."
"The Golden State" opens at 8 tonight at The Phoenix Theatre, 9673 Firdale Ave., Edmonds. Shows are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through April 22.
Tickets are $18.50 and $15.50. Call 206-533-2000 or go to www.phoenixtheatreedmonds.com.

The 2013 Broadway at The Paramount Season:
This may go down as the season of hits at The Paramount, starting with the blockbuster "The Book of Mormon" and ending with the smashingly successful musical "Wicked" for a special subscription option.
The 2013 lineup:
• "The Book of Mormon": Jan. 8. From "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and "Avenue Q" co-creator Robert Lopez, Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show," calls this phenomenal musical "a crowning achievement. So good, it makes me angry."
• "War Horse": Feb. 13. Presented in partnership with Seattle Repertory Theatre, the story takes place as World War I begins. Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and is soon caught up in enemy fire. But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home.
• "Flashdance": April 16. Directed and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, this new musical features a score of smash hits including, "Flashdance -- What a Feeling," "Maniac," "I Love Rock and Roll" and 10 new, original songs.
• "Fela!": May 28. A provocative hybrid of dance, theater and music exploring the extravagant world of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti.
• "Sister Act": Aug. 20. This musical tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look: a convent.
• "Wicked": Oct. 10. Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the land of Oz. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for the basis of this musical.
Broadway at the Paramount season ticket packages are available at 888-451-4042 or www.BroadwayatTheParamount.com.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.
Story tags » TheaterEdmonds

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