TAKE LESSONS IN LAUGHTER WITH "THE LIAR"


BONNIE GOLDBERG

Everyone may be tempted to tell a little white lie from time to time, to spare someone's feelings, to excuse an absence or to prevent a confrontation. Few people, however, make lying an occupation, a raison d'etre, a way of life. If you believe that, I have a bridge you might like to buy.

The Westport Country Playhouse cordially invites you to make the acquaintance of Monsieur Dorante who excels as "The Liar." Penned by Pierre Corneille in 1643 and most cleverly adapted by David Ives, "The Liar" will flaunt its fibbing feathers until Saturday, May 23.

Aaron Krohn's Dorante is superb as the fast talking, immoral genius of the superlative speech who is so enamored of his own untruths that he is incapable of remembering what he prattles to whom. Fancying himself a cross between a Casanova and a Don Juan, Dorante woos whatever elegant beauty catches his eye, all the while his anxious father Geronte (Brian Reddy) is busy trying to arrange his son's marriage. Mistaken identities, pomegranates, twin servants, bogus brides, sham duels and secret escapades on the water all conspire to keep the humor contagious and the action lively.

Has Dorante set his heart on the lovely Clarice (Kate Maccluggage) or is he more smitten with the more refined Lucrece (Monique Barbee)? Does he even know or care? Does the fact that Alcippe (Philippe Bowgen) is his rival for Clarice disturb him in the least? Will he convince his valet Cliton (Rusty Ross) to abandon his truthful ways and learn to lie like a rug? Will Alcippe's good friend Philiste (Jay Russell) win the maid of his choice (both Rebekah Brockman)? Penny Metropulos directs this stellar cast and has a lot of fun keeping this madcap mincemeat of merry mischief a delight.

The costumes alone, designed by Jessica Ford, are elegant to a fault, aided by Matthew Richards' artistic lighting, Kristen Robinson's tree-laden set, with a snappy sound design by David Budries. For tickets ($30 and up), call the Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off route 1, Westport at 203-227-4177 or 888-927-7529 or online at www.westportplayhouse.org. Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

For lessons in prevarications and perfidies, fabrications and falsehoods, sign up with Monsieur Dorante for the epitome of epic equivocations. You'll love the homework assignments or is it extracurricular assignations?

 

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