Quick explanation. Tim Mooney enjoys unexpected rhymes.
How much? Enough to adapt (so far) 17 of the 17th century French playwright Molière’s works into rhymed iambic pentameter. One of the adaptations, “The Bourgeois Gentleman” had its world premiere at the Howard Payne University Theatre on Thursday and is playing through the weekend.
The final two performances of the play are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. today and 2:30 p.m. Sunday on the HPU stage.
Mooney hails from Arlington Heights, Ill., but is on the road, he said, more than he is there. Last week, on his way to the Dallas-area, he stopped in Brownwood to assist with rehearsals and production.
Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, the play’s director, is a friend of Mooney’s, but friendship aside, she said, she chose Mooney’s adaptation of “The Bourgeois Gentleman” because “I absolutely love this play.
“The whole concept of the show is just wonderful,” Humfeld said.
Anyone even slightly familiar with Molière will probably know his works are a funny to ridiculous form of satire, Mooney explained. So well done are the story lines, 300 years after the plays were written they can still delight and have a message for modern audiences.
In Mooney’s adaptation of “The Bourgeois Gentleman,” all of the characters but the main one, Monsieur Jourdain speak in the rhymed iambic pentameter.
And the main character, played by Tyler Cureton, can’t make a rhyme “to save his life,” Mooney said. “Even though the rest of the characters continually set him up for a rhyme.”
Mooney said he completed this version of “The Bourgeois Gentleman,” in 1999, but since he’d written the adaptations “almost faster than they could be produced, it’s been sitting on the shelf for a while.
“I’m really happy to have it performed, delighted it could be here,” Mooney said. “And they’re doing a great job with it.”