What 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.
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!