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David Hyde Pierce returns to Broadway in La Bete

David Hyde Pierce returns to Broadway in La Bete

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Former ‘Frasier’ star David Hyde Pierce returns to Broadway in a beastly role in the first revival of ‘La Bete.’

Here’s a roundup of La Bete reviews:

Mr. Hyde Pierce is a first-rate glowering straight man. But Mr. Rylance’s Valere is a force of nature, a destructive force, perhaps, but also a revitalizing one. From the dawn of drama, there has always been a place for human beasts that acknowledges the irresistible energy in their anarchy. In recent years the type, as interpreted on film, has ruled the box office, with stars like Jack Black, Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell celebrating the high-voltage appeal of unbridled crassness and stupidity. – from NYTimes review

The show loses much of its pull after this virtuosic display. But Warchus ensures that things move quickly on Mark Thompson’s grand book-lined set and that the rhyming structure doesn’t overwhelm the leads or the ensemble. “La Bete” is too unwieldly to be a perfect play, but this enjoyable revival finds the beauty in the beast. – from NYDaily News review

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Mark Rylance is a fool’s fool. Belching, bragging, accompanying his own self-aggrandizing soliloquies with stunning four-part flatulence, he tears into the first half of La Bête, David Hirson’s 1991 meta-Molière oddity, with a 400-line megalogue. In rhymed couplets. Not a syllable of which, I’m happy to report, isn’t uproarious. With all due respect to his excellent co-stars, David Hyde Pierce and Joanna Lumley, and the fine ensemble that embroiders the show’s frilly edges, Rylance is clearly the show’s raison d’être. His performance as the irresistibly loathsome street clown Valere — a lowbrow bête noire visited upon the tidy playwright Elomire (Pierce) — is the grand prize at the bottom of a box of confetti. – from NYMag Review

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