Theatre ReviewsTom Williams

Lies & Liars

Conceived and Directed by Margot Bordelon & Cassy Sanders

Produced by Theatre SevenLiesAndLiars

At Chicago Dramatists

False premise dooms unfunny comedy

“Lying is uncontrollable.”

“The tiny space between a truth and a lie is one of the fundamental problems of human nature. ” said Brian Golden, the Theatre Seven artistic director.

Theatre Seven’s Lies & Liars, now in a world premiere at Chicago Dramatists, is a satirical comedy about what the author’s conceive to be the realities of lying.  This unfunny, cliche-ridden comedy tries to make humor out of some provocative statements about lying as it asks the burning question:  “Are you sure you want to know the truth?”

Ben (Brad Smith) lands a new job at ALCOR–an international lie protection agency that keeps a file on everyone with every lie ever told to them. This water cooler comedy is peopled by wacky archetypes–all of which over act most of their scenes. The frequent blackouts and constant moving of office furniture and fixtures dilutes the humor.

The silly plot that postulates that the worst sin at ALCOR is to read your own file inevitably leads Ben to do just that with predictable consequences. The action get interrupted by a lecture about the nature of lying postulating such quotes as “Lying is uncontrollable.” Ha? The authors tried to cover too much about the nature and effects of lying reducing the comedy to a pastiche of unremarkable and unoriginal scenes that were both not funny and devoid of insight. The 75 minute show needs to be tightened and focused to produce a high impact statement about lying.  This shows needs to be rethought.

Not Recommended

Tom Williams

At Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL, call 773-853-3158, tickets $12 – $18, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 75 minutes without intermission, through August 30, 2009

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