The Liar—Theatre

The Liar, a French comedy written by Pierre Corneille, masterfully adapted by David Ives, and directed by Michael Kahn, is a light-hearted, fun-filled night at the theatre.

Set in Paris in the 1600s, The Liar is the story of Dorante, who arrives in Paris with a law degree and a gift for glib, sweet-talking gab. Talk about spin, he gives new meaning to the word, embellish. Once he sets his sights on the lovely Clarice, his mouth, his imagination and the play are off to the races.

The Liar, originally written in verse, has lost nothing in its translation to English. Ives has kept the rhyme in his adaptation and while one might think this would be an annoying affectation, nothing could be further from the truth. There’s a lot of sharp back and forth dialogue, much like the old William Powell/Myrna Loy movies of the 30s and the Hepburn/Tracy movies of the 40s and 50s. Such witty, rich prose becomes even more so in rhyme. It’s a testament to Ives that his twenty-first century sensibilities and references mesh so easily with the 1600s setting. And no one and nothing is safe as insults are creatively hurled about the stage…lawyers, actors, even Shakespeare himself…is ripe for the picking.

This nine-character play, small in numbers for the usual Lansburgh offering, is large in talent. Each actor is perfect in his/her role.  Singled out for praise must be Christian Conn as Dorante, Adam Green as Dorante’s newly acquired servant, Cliton, Erin Partin  as Clarice, the initial object of Dorante’s  affection, and veteran Shakespeare Theatre Company actor, David Sabin as Dorante’s father, Geronte.

One has come to expect beautiful sets and costumes from the Shakespeare Theatre’s production crew and they do not disappoint. Their work matches the acting, sequin for sequin.

The Liar runs from April through May 23rd. Get your ticket now while tickets are still available and be prepared for a terrific time. And that’s no lie.

Lansburgh Theatre 450 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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