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From 6 critic and 0 member reviews

About the show

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble presents a new production of Moliere's comic masterwork about religious hypocrisy. More…

Tartuffe is a charismatic man who has been touched by God. He is a visionary. He practices religious devotion and self-sacrifice. He has fits. He converses with the divine. He can be very scary. Orgon invites him home to live with his family and introduces him to his beautiful wife Elmire…what could possibly go wrong?


“Ravishing performances, magnificent direction and dazzling production design all make this a glorious revival...The enticing opening tableau is a visual spectacle...The rest of the production lives up to this booming start, with the imagery of the second act’s opening and of the finale being equally as impressive...Slapstick, high comedy, bawdiness and dramatic truth are all vividly rendered by Smith’s superior sense of stagecraft...A triumphant incarnation of ‘Tartuffe.’” Full Review

The Huffington Post

“’Seriously witty dialogue that occasionally erupts into outright hilarity. The play is bolstered by a youthful, energetic cast and production team who simultaneously honor the source material, yet who also delight at sneaking in a modern sensibility...The entire cast of 'Tartuffe' is excellent and director Smith gives every actor their chance in the spotlight. This ensemble is not afraid to go over the top when it’s called for." Full Review

Off Off Online

“Craig Smith has chosen to inject a good deal of invented business into Molière’s 1669 classic ‘Tartuffe’, for the most part, it works rather well...At times the physical aspects of the comedy are pushed a bit too hard...Are there resonances with the modern political situation? It’s a reminder that serious matters underlie Molière’s portrait. In spite of some bumps, Smith’s production of this three-century-old comedy shows it still has juice.” Full Review

Stage Buddy

"Phoenix Theatre Ensemble's production of this 17th-century classic might have been a more complete success if they'd just let Molière's comedy do its thing. As it is, the production seems a little too divided between lighthearted humor and some undercurrent of...something. At the same time, however, United Stages has done some wonderful things with Molière's script...More highlights are the strong performances." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"Smith and company bypass comedy altogether...This is a ‘Tartuffe’ that blazes with anger and smolders with sexuality...But I dearly missed the laughter...With a living, breathing monster at the center of the action, not really requiring unmasking, the rest of the characters are left looking rather skittish...This is one of the least enjoyable ‘Tartuffes’ of my theatregoing career. Instead of a smile of complicity, this production offers a chilling sneer.” Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“Earnestly solemn, only rarely laugh-provoking…Directed…more as if it were a dour tragicomedy than a brightly satiric comedy…David Ball's rhymed verse adaptation occasionally arouses a chuckle, but the overall tone is so serious that the play's satirical intent is diminished…The cast is decidedly uneven…Tyson's Tartuffe…comes off as a characterless, heavily tattooed fanatic lacking in charismatic and sexual magnetism…This 'Tartuffe' has no clothes.” Full Review

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