Posted Online: Oct. 03, 2012, 8:32 am

Beauty and evil on stage at St. Ambrose

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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com

Photo: Submitted
'Les Liaisons Dangereuses' at St. Ambrose University's Galvin Fine Arts Center features Shannon Rourke, left, and Cody Johnson.
Love is many-splendored, but it also can be a battlefield, as the wily, ruthless characters of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" by Christopher Hampton reveal.

The St. Ambrose University theater department will stage the 1985 play this weekend at Galvin Fine Arts Center, Davenport. Performances will start at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Love is simply a game of chess for longtime friends and occasional lovers Vicomte de Valmont and Marquise de Merteuil. In a few false moves, they find themselves locked in the ultimate checkmate. Through seduction, betrayal and passion, this dark comedy paints the pre-Revolutionary French aristocracy in all its cynicism and decadence, according to an Ambrose release.

The 1988 film "Dangerous Liaisons," starring John Malkovich and Glenn Close, was based on this play, which itself was a theatrical adaptation of the 18th-century French novel of the same name by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.

Special St. Ambrose guest director Saffron Henke is known for her work with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Sacramento Theatre Company, the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble.

Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for faculty/staff/alumni/senior citizens, $7 for non-St. Ambrose students and free for St. Ambrose students with a current and valid student ID. For more information, call (563) 333-6251 or visit sau.edu/galvin.