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News Release

Dangerous Liaisons
August 2008

As overheard in various salons and bedrooms...

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre
and BMO FINANCIAL GROUP

Present
Dangerous Liaisons

By Christopher Hampton
Directed by Alexandre Marine

September 7-28, 2008

Valmont: “I want the excitement of watching her betray everything that’s
most important to her. I thought betrayal was your favourite word.”

Merteuil: “No, no, cruelty. I always think that has a nobler ring to it.”

MONTREAL August 2008 - The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre kicks off a sizzling season of passion and seduction with Dangerous Liaisons, Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 French novel about lust, greed, deception and romance. Don’t miss what promises to be an exciting production, led by award-winning director, Alexandre Marine and featuring a handpicked, mostly Montreal cast of 16.

The Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont are a pair of schemers (and former lovers) who take pleasure in coolly manipulating and seducing those around them, leaving scandal, dishonour and outrage in their wake. The Marquise challenges the Vicomte to seduce the virtuous Madame de Tourvel, but when the latter breaks the rules and finds himself genuinely falling in love with his intended prey, the game quickly turns fatal--with devastating consequences for everyone involved. Here, sex is a game and death is but a means of keeping score.

Director Marine’s previous production at the Segal, the Prix de la Critique award winning Amadeus, was an unqualified success and demonstrated his unique creativity in staging large scale period plays, particularly the decadent period of the late eighteenth century. Dangerous Liaisons will offer audiences another opportunity to experience Marine’s directorial talent. Bryna Wasserman, the Segal Centre’s Artistic and Executive Director, was never in doubt as to who should direct this opening play of the Segal’s 08-09 season. “I couldn’t be more confident in having Sasha leading this production, she said. It’s a large scale, challenging play, but with his innovative eye and mastery of the physical aspect of the theatre, I’m certain his perspective will bring it to life in the most distinct and imaginative ways.”

“This play and its themes of sex, power and manipulation are universal, we’re still playing by the same rules as two centuries ago,” said Marine in expressing the timelessness of the play. “You need look no further than today’s news, at how little time is taken up by actual news versus tabloid sex scandals.” As well, this late twentieth century stage adaptation of a late eighteenth century novel will astonish today’s audience with how powerful and liberated the women are in the play. Madame de Merteuil matches her adversary Valmont move for move in this game of love, passion and domination.

As part of a truly international cast, Brett Christopher (a one man tour-de-force in the Segal’s I Am My Own Wife) stars as the Vicomte de Valmont. Catherine de Sevè (hugely popular for L’auberge du chien noir on SRC, here in her first English stage role) enthralls as the Marquise de Merteuil. The highly respected cast also includes Jake Epstein (De Grassi: The Next Generation, Gemini Award), Anthousa Harris (Centaur’s Romeo and Juliet), Gemma James-Smith (Sidemart’s The Haunted Hillbilly), Vitali Makarov (Théâtre Deuxième Realité’s Hamlet), Tara Nicodemo (The Segal’s The Diary of Anne Frank), Jillian Niedoba (Not Wanted on the Voyage), Igor Ovadis (Minuit le soir) and Moira Wylie (The Segal’s Hedda Gabler). Rounding out the company is Maud Desbois, Adam Driscoll, Alexandre Gorchkov, Lauren Roy, Kristina Sandev and David Sklar.

The design team has conceived a stage where reality reflects fantasy, desire and dreams - a space mirroring brooding narcissism. Mastermind creators include Yannik Larivée, set and props; Spike Lyne, lighting; Jessica Poirier-Chang, costumes and Dmitri Marine, sound and original music. Elaine Normandeau is the stage manager and Merissa Tordjman completes the team as assistant stage manager. Expect this to be the flagship show of the season.

“Le Vicomte de Valmont is conspicuously charming and never opens his mouth without first calculating what damage he can do.” - Mme. De Volanges

88.5 CBC Radio One proudly presents Sunday-@-the-Segal
Sunday, September 7, 11am. Admission is free.
Join us for another season of intimate conversation and riveting lectures.

Monday Night Talkbacks presented by Pratt and Whitney Canada
As usual following the play, some of the actors and/or designers will remain on stage to take questions from the audience. Monday Night Talkbacks provides an intimate opportunity for audiences to engage up close and personal with the personalities bringing first class professional English language theatre to Montreal.

Building audiences for the future
Everyone in this field knows that what matters most is the creation and fostering of new audiences. To this extent, the Segal Centre is offering fantastic savings for those under 30. The hope is to see full advantage of this taken, from full-time college and university students to young professionals just starting out.

TICKETS AND MEDIA INFORMATION

Run:
September 7-28, 2008

Previews:
September 7 1:30 pm
September 8-10 8:00 pm

Sunday-@-the-Segal:
September 7 11:00 am

Media Opening Night:
Thursday, September 11 8:00 pm

Performances:
Monday - Thursday, 8:00 pm
Saturday 8:30 pm
Sunday 7:00 pm

Matinées:
Wednesdays 1:00 pm
Sundays 2:00 pm

Box Office:
(514) 739-7944

Admission
(514) 790-1245
www.admission.com

Segal Centre for Performing Arts at the Saidye
5170 Cote St. Catherine Rd.

Alexandre Marine - Director
Mr. Marine is a founding member of the Tabakov Theatre in Moscow, founding artistic director of his company, Théâtre Deuxième Réalité (T2R) and a faculty member at the Institute of Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. He has directed over 60 shows in Moscow, Montreal, Boston, New York and Tokyo. His 1997 production of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale at Centaur Theatre was rewarded at the Soirée des Masques, while T2R’s Hamlet was awarded the critics' prize (AQCT) for best Montreal show in 1999. The Segal production of Amadeus, which he directed, was also noted by the AQCT prize for best English-language production, as well as a MECCA for best director.

Brett Christopher - Le Vicomte de Valmont
Brett is known to Segal audiences for his performance in the solo show I Am My Own Wife (Masques Award: Best English Production, Mecca Award: Best Actor.) Other notable theatre credits include: The Gladstone Variations; Autoshow (Convergence Theatre); Antony & Cleopatra (Shakespeare in the Rough); Much Ado About Nothing (CanStage); Family Stories: Belgrade, The Sea (ARC); Romeo & Juliet; As You Like It (Theatre by the Bay); Mary’s Wedding (Theatre & Co.) Brett is also the General Manager of Theatre Kingston and a graduate of the George Brown Theatre School.

Catherine de Seve - La Marquise de Merteuil
Catherine De Sève shares her time and versatile talent between theatre and television. On stage: La Marea (FTA), Le Silence (Omnibus), Le Comte de Monte-Cristo and Scaramouche (Théâtre Denise-Pelletier). She also took part in Brigitte Haentjens’s creation Tout comme elle (Usine C). She made a name for herself on Quebec television in Sketch Show (Gémeaux nomination for Best Actress in comedy). Since 2003, she has been a part of the prime-time program L’auberge du chien noir, broadcast on the SRC.

Christopher Hampton - Playwright
Dangerous Liaisons is Mr. Hampton’s 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company adaptation of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos 1782 French epistolary novel. Other plays include The Talking Cure, White Chameleon, Tales from Hollywood, Treats, Savages, The Philanthropist and Total Eclipse. He co-wrote the book and lyrics for the musicals Sunset Boulevard and Dracula and the libretto for the Philip Glass operas Waiting for the Barbarians and Appomattox. He has translated extensively from Chekhov, Ibsen, Moliere, Odon von Horvath and Yasmina Reza. Screenplays include The Quiet American, Dangerous Liaisons (for which he won as Oscar), Carrington Atonement and most recently Cheri.

Pierre Choderlos de Laclos - Novelist
Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, (1741-1803), was a French soldier and novelist. His masterpiece Les Liaisons dangereuses is one of the earliest examples of the psychological novel. Written in epistolary form, it explores the amorous intrigues of French aristocracy. It combines searching psychological analysis in the manner of 17th-century drama, the assumptions of 18th-century philosophical sensationalism and suggestions of demonic Romantic revolt. The novel has inspired a large number of critical and analytic commentaries, plays and films.