La Bête

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Mark Rylance steals his scenes—and nearly the whole show—as ultra-vulgar, babbling boor Valere, rival scribe to lofty playwright Elomire (David Hyde Pierce). Director Matthew Warchus's revival of the 1991 David Hirson rhyming-verse satire is stately and glowing, giving the high-flown language a much-deserved chance for reevaluation. Although this Molière-style feat may seem lopsided (especially in Valere's bravura 30-minute monologue), the craft and cunning of Hirson's vision are undeniable.—David Cote


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