'Admissions' offers comedy of manners

By Mia Proli Gable

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Love and deception: two words that should be opposites, for can there truly be love without honesty? But, of course, it doesn't always work out this way. Many people find it easier to lie throughout relationships, and sometimes they're lucky. These are the situations presented in False Admissions, the current play at the UA's Arizona Repertory Theatre.

False Admissions is a comedy of manners written by Pierre Carlet de Chamberlain de Marivaux which premiered in France in 1737 and addresses the relationship between social classes. Most often, comedies of manners are satires and, as in False Admissions, they revolve around a love affair that attempts to cross class lines.

Another characteristic of a comedy of manners is that the play portrays only that which can realistically take place in the time frame of the performance. So all that happens in this play occurs in a little over two hours.

What ensues is an intricate plot that is built on deception after deception, used to manipulate someone into doing something, all for the hopes of financial gain.

"I'm tired of being deceived," says Araminte (Samantha Dunn), the young, naive widow, with too much money and little experience in how to handle it. She hires a steward to help her with an ensuing court battle with Le Comte (Perry Crafton) over a piece of property.

Dorante (James Elmore), the steward, is in love with Araminte and has pursued the job specifically to be around her, with the help of a friend and Araminte's servant, Dubois (Greg Lambert). The deception begins from the start of the play with the simple act of Dorante being hired for the job.

False Admissions is delightfully played by a cast of eight actors. Dunn does a convincing job of portraying the too-innocent Araminte, and Carrie Lee Patterson really brings to life Marton, Araminte's maid, as a woman who greedily wants love and money, but is in conflict with her friendship with her employer.

False Admissions may be from another time and country, with a different social class structure its own set of prejudices. The play is, however, still comical and offers moral thought for present society. It is a very strong finish to the '94-'95 ART season.

False Admissions runs through April 16 at the Marroney Theatre. For more information and reservations call the Fine Arts Box Office at 621-1162.

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