Theater Review: The Liar
Henley Street Theatre’s artistic director James Ricks’ latest project, The Liar, adapted by David Ives from the comedy by Pierre Corneille, is currently running at Richmond’s CenterStage-Gottwald Theatre. This fast-paced classical farce, with some very modern twists, centers around Dorante, a pathological liar who cannot help himself from making up the most fantastical stories to get himself out of, but actually into, trouble.
Liar features one of the most talented ensemble casts I have seen. Dorante, played by Matthew Mitchell is handsome, charming, clever, and most of all, a liar.
Dorante is contrasted by his likeable, modest, manservant, Clinton, played by David Clark, who cannot tell a lie. Kyle Butler playes Alcippe, an old friend of Dorante and the fiancé of Clarice played by, Irene Kuykendall, who Dorante attempts to woo, resulting in a hilarious duel where Dorante and Alcippe fight with invisible weapons not wishing to actually harm one another. Butler is hilarious as the hot-headed sometimes rival of Dorante with laugh-out-loud moments every time he’s on stage.
One of the major highlights of Liar is Michael Hawke’s performance as Dorante’s gullible father, Geronte, who eagerly believes every lie fed by his dear son. Hawke adds a flourish to his every movement and is absolutely fabulous!
The three female actresses were very strong as well including a pair of twin maids Isabelle and Sabine being played solely by Stacie Rearden Hall. Kuykendall’s Clarice is the best friend of Lucrece, played by Olivia Luna. Lucrece falls in love with Dorante in spite of all his deceitful antics, but sadly Dorante’s affections are aimed at Clarice. Luna has a beautiful monologue where she confesses her true feelings for him.
Margarette Joyner’s period costumes were gorgeous with amazing attention to detail. I felt compelled to give a standing “O” after seeing this production. The actors speak in rhyming pentameter throughout the two act play, often bending words to make them rhyme, just one of the many tongue-in-cheek moments Liar offers.
This play is absolutely hilarious with highly impressive word-play that will leave your head spinning in a good way!
The Liar runs until April 28 at the Gottwald Playhouse at Richmond CenterStage. For tickets and more information, visit http://henleystreettheatre.org/.
Jen Maciulewicz is theatre critic for GAYRVA.com and is a Richmond local. Jen attended VCU and holds a B.S. in Anthropology. She has starred as Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes" and attended VCU’s School of Music. Follow Jen on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jenlaumac.
Richmond’s performing arts venue Richmond Centerstage announced today on its website it received a $5.5 million grant from Dominion Resources tol be used for “ongoing operation, maintenance and physical improvement to the facility.” The 87-year-old East Grace Street venue, which encompasses The 1,800-seat Carpenter Theatre, the multi-use space Rhythm Hall; the Libby S. Gottwald Playhouse; and the [...]December 15, 2015
- Play review: ‘Sam and Carol: A Play Where Everything…’ is alive and honest, April 7, 2015
- 5th Wall Theatre’s production of H2O is impossible to forget, September 9, 2014
- VA Opera’s Ariadne auf Naxos Promises Laughs & Culture This weekend, February 21, 2014
- ‘ISIS: A Love Story’ turns the worlds most nefarious terrorist organization into a queer Romeo & Juliet
- HRC and national pediatric organizations team up for new guide on raising transgender kids
- Live performance of ‘Phantom’ at the Byrd Theatre aims to highlight the famed movie palace’s original elegance
- James Franco is starring in a movie about Virginia’s darkest gay porn secret
- After Virginia Blood Services donation controversy, RVA transman donates blood with Red Cross