“Tartuffe” is a Hysterical Production You Don’t Want to Miss


“Tartuffe,” directed by Terrence I. Mosely, left the audience hysterical with great performances from its leads. (Courtesy of Instagram)

On Thursday, Nov. 10, the Fordham University Theater delivered a hilarious performance of the 1664 theatrical comedy “Tartuffe.” Written by Molière and adapted by Ranjit Bolt, the story follows Orgon, the wealthy father of a household who opens his doors and shares his wealth to the religious hypocrite, Tartuffe. Orgon and his mother, Madame Pernelle, are both blinded by the fraudulent fronts put up by Tartuffe, as the rest of the family spends the duration of the play doing anything they can to get their father and grandmother to see the man he really is.

The Mainstage production put on at Fordham Lincoln Center, directed by Terrence I. Mosely, left me, and the rest of the audience, hysterical. The incredible comedic delivery of the entire cast felt as if I were watching a two and a half hour long “SNL” skit. Specifically, the performances put on by Trystan Edwards FCLC ’23, playing Madame Pernelle, and Raekwon Fuller, FCLC ’23, who effortlessly portrayed the family’s housemaid, Dorine, were the highlights of the show. Throughout the play, Edwards showed the audience his absolutely jaw-dropping ability to perfect the mannerisms of an irksome grandmother, alongside Fuller, who put forth a great representation of a sassy and loving housemaid that ends up taking on a maternal role for the kids in the family. The devient Tartuffe, played by Tyler Isaiah Bey FCLC ’24, knew just how to make his character appear dumbfounded and mischievous in all the right ways.

In addition to the acting, the production quality of the play was excellent. From the set, lighting, costumes and sound, it all made the show just that much better. While the set didn’t change for the duration of the play and remained an elegant room in Orgon’s mansion, the use of hallways, curtains and doorways made the show feel much more dynamic. The lighting emphasized the mood of the characters on stage, definitely helping those who might have been lost. As for the costumes, the actors were dressed well for who they were portraying. There was a classic grandmotherly skirt, knit sweater and gray wig for the character of Madame Pernelle. Orgon sported a sophisticated brown suit and his wife, Elimire, a sleek purple cocktail dress. The rest of the characters were all dressed accordingly, besides housemaid Dorine. She wore jeans, an orange tank and a bulky denim jacket. This set her character aside from the rest and emphasized Dorine’s importance to the plot. Finally, the use of different sound effects and music added to the quality of the production as well. In between each scene, a song would play as the actors geared up for their next lines. There was also use of a radio on stage during various scenes that was ultimately used to open and close the show that symbolized Dorine’s power in the play.

While I did enjoy the show overall, the story itself was  slightly difficult to follow at first. Even having read the first few acts of the play prior to seeing it — many thanks to my Invitation to Theater class — it took a little bit for me to put together who was who due to the extensive amount of characters on stage during the opening scene. Though, I do digress because once I did learn who was who, it was smooth sailing from there.

The theatrical performances at Fordham Lincoln Center began Thursday, Nov. 10, and there are upcoming performances on Nov. 16, 17, 18 and 19. If you happened to miss showings of “Dance Nation,” the last show put on by Fordham Mainstage, “Tartuffe” is a performance you definitely don’t want to miss.