The aging but vital Harpagon is hoarding every centime he can get his hands on, making sure that his two children, the virginal Elise and the dandy Cleante, live under his iron will. To complicate matters, Elise has fallen in love with the handsome Valere, who masquerades as a servant in the household, despite his noble birth, and, worse yet, Cleante and Harpagon are both smitten with the same woman, the beautiful, if somewhat dim, Marianne. Meanwhile, scheming servants and assorted hustlers angle for Harpagon's incredible wealth, much of which is now buried and protected by snarling Dobermans. The delirious plot spirals to a wildly comic finish, filled with all the masterful plot twists and outrageous revelations one would expect from one of Molière's finest plays.
Populated by some of Molière's most memorable characters, particularly the ever-avaricious Harpagon, THE MISER stands as one of the great comic masterpieces of all time. This translation, set in Harpagon's decaying Paris townhouse, follows the original plot carefully, but streamlines the action. "With results ranging from clever to hilarious, translator David Chambers blends a pure line-for-line translation with the liberally political Henry Fielding version, resulting in a script both audaciously irreverent and intellectually true to Molière's 325-year-old original." —Variety. "The new, loony-tune mad MISER…spins the French comedy classic through a blackly funny, fun-house mirror." —Orange County Register.