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The Miser


The Miser opened on January 8, 2002 at the Geva Theatre in Rochester, NY and ran through February 10.

"Can a play really be a classic if it’s rip-roaringly funny?  If it features a cheapskate father who is so tight-fisted that he actually accuses himself of stealing his fortune?  If it has two pairs of secret lovers, a conniving matchmaker, a slapstick brawl and a houseful of wonderfully disgruntled servants?  With the exquisite sense of humor that Moliére is best known for, The Miser promises to be one of the liveliest performances of the season. "

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Trent with "the incredible David Cromwell" and Daniel Travis

Trent's bio from the online playbill:

TRENT DAWSON (Cleante) This is Mr. Dawson's Geva Theatre debut. Broadway: The Herbal Bed.  Off-Broadway: various productions including most recently Much Ado About Nothing (Claudio) at the American Globe. Co-founder of Blue Coat Rep, co-producing and performing in The Way of the World (OOBR Award) and Altitude Sickness. Regional: nearly 20 productions of Shakespeare with such theatres as American Players Theatre, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and American Stage. Favorite roles include Hamlet, Romeo, Mercutio, Demetrius (A Midsummer Night's Dream) and Cassio (Othello). Mr. Dawson received the Denver Drama Critics Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of the Emcee in Cabaret. Film: Helene. Television: "Guiding Light," currently Henry Coleman on "As the World Turns." Dedicated to Engine 54, Manhattan.

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Click here for more photos from the show and behind the scenes.

Click here for a review from a local Rochester newspaper.


Press release from the Geva Theater website:

The Miser Brings Mid-Winter Fun
to Geva Theatre

From January 8 until February 10, The Miser by Molière, the master of French comedy, will take the Geva Mainstage.  The Miser has been performed the world over for more than 300 years.  Now, thanks to a snappy translation by David Chambers, lively direction by Geva’s Artistic Director, Mark Cuddy, and a cast of remarkably funny actors, The Miser is one classic comedy that’s sure to feel like it was written only yesterday.  Tickets cost $12.50 - $45.00 and are available at the Geva Theatre Box Office or by calling 585-232-GEVA (4382).

Harpagon (David Cromwell) is the quintessential miser.  As long as his gold is safely stashed away, he doesn’t mind if his house falls to pieces, his horses starve and his dinner guests suffer through a “banquet” of beans and headcheese.  He has pledged his son Cléante (Trent Dawson) to marry an old, rich widow and his daughter Élise (Kirsten Potter) to a wealthy middle-aged businessman, figuring that both spouses will kick off soon, leaving his children with fortunes.  Of course, Cléante and Élise aren’t too keen on that idea: They’ve both already found prospective spouses for themselves, but can’t figure out a way to break the news to their father.  When Harpagon finds a new wife for himself, things really get complicated.  Add a scheming matchmaker, a backyard full of vicious guard dogs and a houseful of servants and The Miser becomes the most delightfully chaotic comic romp of the season. 

“When we decided to do The Miser, we searched extensively for the best translation,” Cuddy commented.  “David Chambers is a director as well as a playwright and translator, so he has a director’s instinct for how dialogue plays onstage.  Staying true to Molière’s text, he translated in contemporary language that makes The Miser accessible and pinpoints Molière’s original playful tone.  The cast has done a wonderful job of bringing that tone to life, with a sense of humor that would make Molière proud.” 

Though The Miser was written in the late 17th century, Geva’s production is set in early 19th century Paris.  Costume Designer B. Modern’s stunning period costumes, complete with corsets, brocade jackets and feathered hats, make The Miser a visual masterpiece.  Modern is a Geva Theatre Associate Artist, whose work has been seen in A Christmas Carol, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and many others.  Paired with G. W. Mercier’s impressive set, her vivid costumes infuse the Molière classic with color. 

Geva’s production of The Miser is co-produced by Fleet Bank, IKON Office Solutions and Nixon Peabody LLP.  Geva thanks its official airline, American Airlines. 

The Miser runs from January 8 – February 19.  For tickets, visit the Geva Theatre Box Office or call 585-232-GEVA (4392).  TTY: 325-1441. 

Now celebrating its 29th performance season, Geva Theatre is Rochester’s leading professional theatre and the largest theatre in New York State outside of Manhattan.  All productions are created in and for Rochester, drawing upon talented actors, designers, writers and directors from around the country.  Over 150,000 people – including more than 15,500 subscribers and 16,000 – attend Geva Theatre each season.



What:  The Miser by Molière
 Geva Theatre, 75 Woodbury Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14607
 Box Office: 716-232-Geva (4382), TTY: 716-325-1441
Director: Mark Cuddy
Scenic Design: G. W. Mercier 
Costume Design: B. Modern
Lighting Design: Ann Wrightson
Sound Design: Dan Roach 
Musical Design:  Gregg Coffin
Choreographer: Karen Azenburg 


Cast (in alphabetical order):  
Harpagon, father to Cléante and Élise David Cromwell
Master Simon, a broker/Chief of Police            Gilbert Cruz
Cléante, son of Harpagon Trent Dawson
Signeur Anselme, a wealthy Neapolitan

Morris Fazzi

Marianne, a girl raised in poverty Grace Hsu
Master Jacques, Harpagon’s cook and coachman Patrick McNulty
Élise, daughter of Harpagon Kirsten Potter
Frosine, a go-between    Wendy Rich Stetson
Valère, a servant to Harpagon Daniel Travis
La Fleche, valet to Cléante Bruce Turk

Performance Dates:

Previews:  Tuesday, January 8 - Friday, January 11 at 8:00pm
Opening Day: Saturday, January 12 at 8:00pm
Final Performance: Sunday, February 10 at 2:00pm
Special Matinees:   Wednesday, February 6 at 2:00pm
Entire Run: Tuesday, January 8 - Sunday, February 10

Tuesday-Friday at 8pm (except Tuesday, January15th 6:00pm), Saturday at 4:00pm and 8:30pm, Sunday at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, plus matinee times listed above.


Ticket Prices:

Tickets range from $12.50 to $45

·          Senior citizen, Student and Group Rates are available.

·          Student rush tickets, with presentation of full-time student ID, are available for $8 on a first-come, unreserved basis, 15 minutes prior to curtain.

·          Half-price tickets may be purchased the day of the performance (section B seating only) and are subject to availability. 

Special Performance Dates 

Prologue: One hour before each performance Geva Theatre continues the popular Prologues, a lively, informative half-hour talk before every performance of each subscription play.  Prologue begins one hour prior to curtain and can be joined in progress.  It is free and open to the entire audience. 

EARLY CURTAIN TUESDAY: Tuesday, January 15, 6pm Hosted by WHAM 1180, Early Curtain Tuesday offers an informal chance to talk with the actors. 

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Sunday, January 27, 2pm This performance for our patrons who are blind/visually impaired features trained audio-describers, Braille, and large-print programs. 

SIGN-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Wednesday, January 31, 8pm A sign-interpreted performance is offered for our patrons who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. 

SUNDAY SALON: Sunday, February 3, after the 2pm performance Sunday Salon offers lively dialogue between artists and audience.  The Sunday Salon is open to the public, including those who attend that Sunday’s performance and those who attended a different performance.  


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