BEST THEATER FOR COMEDY Minneapolis 2000 - Theatre de la Jeune Lune
105 1st St. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
It's not difficult to make an audience laugh. Neither is it difficult to make one cry. What is difficult--and rare--is to inspire an audience to laugh at themselves, for to do so, they must first recognize their ridiculousness reflected onstage. Such is the art and the magic of Theatre de la Jeune Lune, who have been practicing an inimitable brand of inspired clowning for two decades. TJL's métier has always been satiric comedy, and this past year found the company in particularly fine form. In Tartuffe and The Government Inspector, the Lunies took classics down from their pedestals and made them witty and relevant spectacles. The Magic Flute, a veritable Grand Guignol of opera, dazzling mise en scène, and cheeky wit, took the starch out of Mozart to the delight of packed houses throughout the winter. Even TJL's solemn and reflective parable of exile, The Golem, had moments of great comedy. In one, a Chaplinesque tramp played by Vincent Gracieux came gliding across the stage trailing a line of beat-up shoes on a leash behind him. The scene reminded us that the best clowning is always a blend of absurdity and insight--a reminder that we are all fools together.