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Molière is alive and better than ever, and performing under the name Timothy Mooney



A scurrilous rumor circulating for the last three hundred or so years, suggests that Molière is dead, the victim of a coughing seizure amid the performance of his final play, The Imaginary Invalid. Molière is alive and better than ever, and performing under the name Timothy Mooney. Not only is Molière still alive, but, in Molière Than Thou, coming to Xavier University’s Gallagher Student Theater, Monday, March 8, 2010 at 7:00 pm, he speaks English, and is every bit as insightful, ribald, irreverent and enthusiastic as the first time around.

Mooney’s work with Molière goes well beyond his celebrated, manic performance of ten of his monologues. Mooney has re-written fifteen of Molière’s plays in their entirety, bringing a dexterity of English speech to these works which were so dazzling in their original French. This language barrier has distanced Molière from the English-speaking audience, which has never appreciated him as well as his renaissance brother, Shakespeare. Molière Than Thou finds a Molière who stands toe-to-toe with Shakespeare, trading brilliant couplets late into the night.

In the course of his [85-minute] one-man play, Timothy Mooney seduces the audience with a complexity of language that is a sensual delight. Parading through the best loved plays of France’s history, Molière Than Thou reinvigorates renaissance theatre, the court of Louis XIV, and the vision which generated some of the most beloved plays of all time.

Mooney’s performance is literate, enthusiastic, and athletic. The play won a “Best of” award from the San Francisco Fringe Festival, and was listed first of the “Top Ten Artistic Events of 2006” from the Chattanooga Pulse. In its Orlando Fringe performances, the press raved “Clearly Moliere lives,” “A delight for all those who appreciate the barbed satire and slyly nuanced language in Molière’s classic skewerings of the rich and pompous.” Winnipeg Fringe reviewers celebrated: “The listener can draw all the available pleasure from the splendid speeches penned by the man considered the French Shakespeare,” and commended “Mooney’s unbelievably expressive eyes and fabulous facial expressions.” The New York media exclaimed, “Move over Richard Wilbur, Timothy Mooney is the real deal … A very tight performance which should be seen by any aspiring actor who wants to tread the boards.” One audience member cheered, “I’ve seen the Comedie Francaise, and they’ve got NOTHING on this guy!”

For additional information contact:    Jo Ann Recker, French Professor

                                                           Department of Modern Languages

                                                           recker@xavier.edu or 513 745-3546         


Molière Than Thou” Reviews

Best of Fringe: Best Adapted Work

San Francisco Fringe Festival

The audience is enthralled … Move over Richard Wilbur, Timothy Mooney is the real deal. … A very tight performance indeed, which should be seen by any aspiring actor who wants to tread the boards. The only thing to anticipate is when will there be a New York performance of a full length Moliere/Mooney play with an ideal cast, and an edition of his translations in print.             George Psillidies, nytheatre.com

#1 of the “Top Ten 2006” One-of-a-kind … original, weird and seriously funny … one of the most creative and refreshing pieces of classical theatre I’ve seen in years. … Mooney’s translations make Molière’s 17th century language instantly accessible. His interpretations were crisp, stylized and sang with the comic genius of the playwright’s original intent.                             Ruth Cartlidge, Chattanooga Pulse

Playwright-actor Tim Mooney has become playwright-actor Jean Baptiste de Poquelin, a.k.a. Molière” …in Mooney’s own artful translations…The humanities are in safe hands this year.                                  San Francisco Bay Guardian

“A” … For 75 minutes, this production transports us to Paris of 1671 where we meet Molière (or a really playful rendition of him) ... Mooney bounds into the role of actor-playing-actor-playing actor [with] unbelievably expressive eyes and fabulous facial expressions. He’s a delight to watch, his memory is remarkable … and he looks like he’s having so much fun. …   Janice Sawka, Uptown (Winnipeg)

˜˜˜˜ ½ Outstanding ... He brings the words of this 17th century playwright to life with his animated performance... There were a number of patrons who found the performance too short, because they could have listened to Mr. Mooney all day.                               Ken Gordon, CBC

What Mooney captures so deftly … is how skilled Molière was in painting scathing portraits of the rich and pompous … the listener can draw all the available pleasure from the splendid speeches penned by the man considered the French Shakespeare.  Kevin Prokosh, Winnipeg Free Press

A Molière incarnation … The 75 minutes whiz by unnoticed. … I haven't found a single dissatisfied Molière patron. That says something.                  Linda Harlos, CBC

With just a costume, a series of wigs and a knack for the language he gives you a good idea of the foolishness, the conniving, the boasting and the masquerading that goes on whenever you see one of Molière’s plays. … Clearly Molière lives.                               Elizabeth Maupin, Orlando Sentinel

My favorite show of this year’s Fringe!

Ana Handshuh, Orlando Fringe Board President

A must-see for aspiring drama students and a pleasant experience for the rest of us. … Men like Mooney were born for the spotlight and he relishes every character he takes on … Jumping from servant to adulterer to doctor, every unique voice he takes on fills the room. The Vue Weekly, Edmonton

Tim Mooney is one clever clog ... One of my faves this Fringe.                                           Alan Hindle, Terminal City

I never got the chance to meet you or tell you how amazed I was, and tell you how amazing you were. I am now a huge Moliere fan, and you inticed my interest in him. You did a spectacular job that day.           Mike Diaz, 11th grade student

Wow! Let me add my praises to your list of accolades … merci for a fantastic performance last Saturday; it was the highlight of the SCOLT conference in Orlando.                            Mike Dockery, Davidson School of Fine Arts

Mooney is clearly enraptured by the great French playwright … The translations are wonderful. … well worth seeing, both for those familiar with the work and those looking for an accessible introduction. 
                             Amy Barratt, Montreal Mirror

Mooney needs only a trunk of costume pieces and his superior histrionics to turn himself into any number of vivid, irreverent, fast-talking characters straight from the pages of the author’s greatest works. Mooney is a well-trained and appealing performer... I highly recommend his skilled impersonation of one of the theater’s most gifted and important creative spirits.              Al Krulik, Orlando Weekly

… Sparkling eyes, infectious grin and elastic face … the consummate over-the-top showman. Robin Chase, The Jenny Revue

Mooney is a brilliant and capable actor, and his presentation of an obsequious entertainer is superb. We all get enough Shakespeare around here, but I say "More Molière!" His innuendo is so much better.   Carl F. Gauze, Ink 19 (Orlando)

Delicious. …Everything that I ever imagined Molière to be...                              Jennifer J. Moody, Auburn University

If you’re not passionate about Molière now, you may well be at the end of the show … truly fits the billing of “The Best of Molière…”                       Seattle Fringe Fest Review Rag

Mooney’s translation was far more vibrant; more full of the lovely ribaldry that Molière would want to be remembered for. Mooney … proves that the rhythm and the life of these works are still very much in the pink.
Lee Howard, Seattle Fringe Fest On-line Review

     It was wonderful. Of course the hard part is that everyone is now telling me ‘you’ll never be able to top this.’

Cynthia Clampitt, Illinois Mensa Convention Coordinator

     … Amazing energy.  ...the last one was a climax of hilarity and we both laughed until tears rolled down our cheeks.  John hinted as we drove home that I may have laughed somewhat harder (louder??) than others, so I'm just a tad mortified.                     Unsolicited Response, Montana

   Thank you so very much for two of the most entertaining shows on Moliere I have ever seen.  You are truly an amazingly energetic stage actor.

Francoise Kuester, French Prof, Gonzaga University