Irene Hsiao

The Liar by Promethean Theatre Ensemble at the Athenaeum, 29 April-21 May 2017

The Liar PTE 17-009.jpgWhat misery it must be for the stage

That plays in tripping meter’s not the rage

For what more beauteous letter to rehearse

Than that that’s set in a melodious verse?

Promethean Theatre, in a perfect blend

Of guts and perspicacity upends

The realist and other modern trends

To give delight superb—(heaven forfend!)

In a new/old play, “The Liar,” by Corneille

And David Ives, a writer from our day

The players from Promethean do say

Some lies, some truths, and rhymes within this play.

It’s set in France—in Paris, that belle ville—

Where young Dorante (Josh Hambrock) there has come

To get betrothed, come good or rather ill

(as happens when one’s something of a bum)

But first a good valet one must procure

And Cliton’s of a heart that’s overpure

(By Brendan Hutt he’s played) and sure

he is Dorante says sooth when he perjures.

He does so first to sweet Clarice, a maid

Of wealth and birth, who doesn’t know she’s played

When base Dorante claims victory in war

He never fought—at least he’s not a bore—

Confabulator is his line of work

Which makes him sometimes something of a jerk

He makes his childhood friend, Alcippe, believe

Clarice (Meghann Tabor), disguised, him has deceived

Upon a barge, burned on the water (and so on),

With Dorante—figs, fireworks—moron!

To believe Clarice most fair has been seduced.

By such a man such lies are oft produced.

It was in fact the maid, the stern Sabine

(Megan DeLay), dominatrix, cruel queen

though upright, moral, robed with belt and pin—

not lubricious Isabelle, her twin.

If these lines your thoughts do convolute,

Entrust these actors, they of high repute,

All doubts, all fears, all sadness will they negate

And jubilance and joy will you await.

Goddess bless, this verse must now be finished.

May these praises go forth undiminished

And see you at the theater every eve

And be transformed again before you leave.

(Irene Hsiao)

Promethean Theatre Ensemble at the Athenaeum, 2936 N. Southport, $17-$27, (773)935-6875 or prometheantheatre.org. Through May 27.

This review also available IN PROSE!

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This entry was posted on May 3, 2017 by .
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