A fast-paced contemporary comedy in the classic style of Moliere, satirizing the modern stage and the state of the arts.
La Bete is a restoration comedy in 1654 set in France. If I try and explain to you what it is about, you won’t go and you really should because this is David Hyde Pierce at his least cutesy. He plays Elomere , who is a friend of the queen and head of a theater company who has finally made it to court and is having a great time and he is told at the very beginning of the play that this horrible Velere, the beast, who is going to foisted on the company by the queen’s writ. The great Mark Rylance comes out and completely dominates not only the stage but does literally a non-stop monologue that goes on for nearly a half hour. If that sounds ridiculous and boring to you, you don’t know what you are missing. It is a performance that is going to certainly win him a Tony. It is one of the performances of a lifetime. He is hilarious, and it is all told in verse. But, you will laugh your little socks off. This is great theater. The underlying theme is the difference between sort of reality TV and Shakespeare to put in the vernacular the tension between art and entertainment. It is great performance, great costume. The end will actually blow your socks off because it comes from this farcical point to a very serious point. This is great theater. Five stars.