World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

La Bête

Article Id: WHEBN0008628282
Reproduction Date:

Title: La Bête  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Joanna Lumley, David Hirson, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Eugene O'Neill Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

La Bête

La Bête
2000 University of Hawaii-Kennedy Theatre production window card
Written by David Hirson
Date premiered February 10, 1991
Place premiered Eugene O'Neill Theatre
New York City
Original language English
Genre Comedy
Setting 1654. Pezenas, France. Languedoc. Prince Conti's Estate.

La Bête (1991) is a comedy by American playwright, David Hirson. Written in rhymed couplets of iambic pentameter, the Molière-inspired story, set in 17th century France, pits dignified, stuffy Elomire, the head of the royal court-sponsored theatre troupe, against the foppish, frivolous street entertainer Valere, whom the troupe's patron, Prince Conti, wishes them to bring aboard. Despite Elomire's violent objections, the company is forced to perform one of Valere's own plays, which results in dramatic changes to the future of Elomire, Valere, and the company itself.

Performance history

Following 15 previews, the Broadway production, produced by Stuart Ostrow and Andrew Lloyd Webber and directed by Richard Jones, opened on February 10, 1991 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, where it ran for only 25 performances. The cast included Dylan Baker, Michael Cumpsty, John Michael Higgins, Tom McGowan, William Mesnik, and Suzie Plakson.

The subsequent West End production was a critical and commercial success and won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy. The London cast included Alan Cumming, Jeremy Northam, Timothy Walker and Simon Treves.

Despite its failure on Broadway, the play has been a popular choice of regional theatre groups throughout the years.[1]

Mark Rylance, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley starred in a new production in 2010, which premiered in London's West End before transferring to Broadway. Matthew Warchus directed the revival, produced by Frankie Grande, which played from June 26 until September 4, 2010 at the Comedy Theatre, and then transferred to Broadway. Previews began at the Music Box Theatre on September 23, 2010 with an official opening on October 14, 2010.[2]

Awards and nominations

  • Tony Award for Best Actor in Play (McGowan)
  • Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play (Baker)
  • Tony Award for Best Scenic Design
  • Tony Award for Best Lighting Design
  • Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play (McGowan)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Baker)
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costumes
  • Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design


  1. ^ For example, 1992 production at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, see: Production history of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, featuring Ray Porter (actor) as Valere.
  2. ^ Probst, Andy. La Bête, Starring David Hyde Pierce, Joanna Lumley, Mark Rylance, to Play Broadway's Music Box Theatre", May 24, 2010
  • Frank Rich (11 February 1991). "High Art Battles Low in Rhymed Couplets". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 

Further reading

  • Hirson, David (1992). La Bête (First ed.). New York: Dramatists Play Service.  

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.