CEDAR CITY — What began on stage in France in 1671, "Les Fourberies de Scapin" or Scapin's Deceits has been transformed into today's production of "Scapin" at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. But it's doubtless the original playwright, Moli?e, would recognize the wild and crazy adaptation from Bill Irwin and Mark O'Donnell.
This production grabs you from moment one. Picture this, literally, because the set is enclosed in a giant frame. The colors and sounds bombard you, creating a feast for the senses. The set, the costumes, the props and wigs jump out, and the music completes the statement. The very talented Richard Carsey, as George at the keyboard, produces pop songs, show tunes, commercial jingles — one never knows what to expect next.
The story begins with Scapin, a servant to Geronte, promising to help his neighbor's son, Octave. He also promises the same to his master's son, Leander. The two young men have fallen in love with beautiful but penniless young women, which makes them unsuitable to their fathers. Scapin persuades Octave's servant, Sylvestre, to join him in a series of pranks to get the fathers to fork over large sums of money, therefore, paving the way to marital bliss for the sons. Enter the aforementioned characters in a vaudeville review, a wild chase and dancing — in other words, planned chaos.
David Ivers, one of the festival's co-artistic directors, who stars as Scapin, is wonderfully out-of-control.
With all of this hilarity, this is not a show for children. It's farce, folks, which means bawdy. It's a bit outrageous, and you need to be ready for racy in a few places.