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The Metromaniacs

The Metromaniacs
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Alexis Piron (from his La Métromanie)
Adapted by: David Ives
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
Pub. Date: 2016
ISBN-10: 0822233975
ISBN-13: 9780822233978
Cast Size: 2 women, 5 men (flexible casting)

About the Play:

The Metromaniacs is a full-length comedy by David Ives. In 18th-century Paris, poets are the rock stars of the day, and young people have gone "crazy for poetry." And Damis has developed a particularly severe case – he's fallen in love with the work of a mysterious poetess. Plot twists, complications, and mistaken identities tumble to a happy ending in this update of Alexis Piron's classic French farce La Métromanie. The Metromaniacs is a true find that The Washington Post calls "a marvel of old and new, with punchlines that glisten with classical flair and contemporary savvy!"

The Metromaniacs is set in aristocratic Paris, where poets are the rock stars of the day, and young people like Damis have gone métromanie – crazy for poetry. Would-be poet Damis has a serious case of verse-mania, so much so that he falls fallen for the works of a mysterious Breton poetess, not knowing that she is really middle-aged gentleman Francalou writing under a pen name! Francalou allows Damis to believe the poetess is his own daughter, Lucile, in order to separate her from Dorante, the son of his sworn enemy. Meanwhile, Lucille mistakes her new suitor for her favourite poet – Damis! Add to the chaos some scheming servants, pseudonyms, and disguises, and poetic wooing reminiscent of Cyrano, and there is much to untangle before love-plots are resolved and a happy ending found in this French farce. With his sparkling wit and brilliant sense of comedic timing, David Ives once again applies his brilliant sense of comedic timing to a lost classic.

The Metromaniacs in translation and adaptation by David Ives premiered in 2015 at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Lansburgh Theatre in Washington, D.C. The New York premiere was in 2018 Off-Broadway at The Duke. The play has been performed in regional repertory and college theatre productions.

Cast: 2 women, 5 men (flexible casting)

What people say:

"[An] ingenious resurrection of an obscure 18th-century French comedy…almost criminally enjoyable… David Ives, the master adapter and cutup artist…is plainly turned on by Piron's frisky, competitive wordplay and high-octane mixups…The language is golden…The mixups are so deliriously complicated that you worry you'll never keep them straight, but Ives's self-aware characters helpfully see to it that you do." — Washington Post

"Ives is a master magician…Piron's play was written in response to an actual event involving Voltaire. Although Ives doesn't satirize a contemporary figure, his sense of the anarchy that arises when people don't know who they are is spot-on." — TheaterMania.com

"The Metromaniacs is a very highly recommended addition to community theatre and community library collections." — The Midwest Book Review

About the Playwright:

Alexis Piron (1689-1773) was one of the most renowned humorists of eighteenth-century France, his rapier wit feared even by Voltaire. One of the most widely produced comic writers of the period, he lived a life dogged by controversy. He had an uncanny ability to make powerful enemies and as a result, his plays are all but forgotten today. Although, La Métromanie, the comedy in which he brings to the stage his mockery of Voltaire, has always been known and enjoyed on the page.

David Ives is an American playwright, screenwriter, and novelist who was born in Chicago and educated at Northwestern University and Yale School of Drama. He is perhaps best known for his evenings of comic one-act comedies, a reputation which resulted in the The New York Times referring to him as the "maestro of the short form". A former Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting, he has also written dramatic plays, narrative stories, and screenplays. He lives in New York City.

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