The Liar, which is currently playing at Park Square Theater, is a mix of the old and the new. It is roughly based on Le Menteur by Pierre Corneille, this new adaptation is by current playwright David Ives. It is a play that is told in verse, which to many brings up thoughts of Shakespeare. However, Ives' use of contemporary language and humor and clearly places the authorship of the book in more modern times. The set places the audience in the 1600s, as does the program's commentary, but some of the costumes seem to pull us to the mid 20th century. Throughout the play, in this mix of old and new, runs a vein of comedy that is sure to keep the audience laughing. Whether it be from pure delight or confusion of what is happening on stage. Because although the plot which revolves around quests for love and mistaken identity, plots which have been used for countless generations, this is a show unlike any that I have ever seen.
Zach Curtis, Shá Cage, Michael Ooms and Jucoby Johnson in "The Liar". Photo by Petronella J Ytsma.
The Liar at the center our our story is Dorante who is wonderfully played by Shá Cage, she easily carries out the physical parts of the character and seems to deliver the verse with mastery.
For me the comic strength of the show was brought by Zach Curtis who plays Clinton, Dorante's valet, who can never tell a lie and Shanan Custer who plays Sabine and Isobelle, two twins with extremely different personalities, one strict and the other flirtatious. The way that Custer switches between the two different characters quickly is a wonder to watch, as is the confusion of the other characters on stage, who take a while to catch on that there are twins and not one erratic character. The talented cast is rounded out by India Gurley as Clarice, Rex Isom Jr. as Geronte, JuCoby Johnson as Alcippe, Michael Ooms as Philiste (who cracked me up in his limited time on stage) and Sara Richardson as Lucrece.
Overall Doug Scholz-Carlson's production of David Ives' work was full of laughs and a fun night at the theater.
This production pointed out something that is inherent in all theater but is usually more masked. The Liar left no question about whether or not the props belong elsewhere but on stage. Or if the words would come out of anyone's mouth but the actor's portraying these characters. But throughout all these lies and deceptions, theater is still able to show us the truth.
If you want to experience something light, funny and a bit absurd then check out The Liar playing at Park Square Theater until October 2.
Thank you to Park Square for inviting me to this production.