Feb. 24 2014 12:00 AM

Couplets reign in deconstruction of 'The Misanthrope'

THE SCHOOL FOR LIES IMAGE
Dana Hooley, Jonathan McMurtry and Jessica John in "The School For Lies."
Photo courtesy of North Coast Repertory Theatre

Costumes and couplets: That about sums up North Coast Rep's The School for Lies, which opened Saturday night in Solana Beach. Now, I've got to tell you: A couple of couplets goes a long, long way. The entire script by playwright David Ives, adapting mischievously Moliere's The Misanthrope, is written in rhyming verse. You find yourself waiting, waiting, waiting for them, sometimes with anticipation, sometimes with a measure of dread. Either way, it makes for a long sit, in spite of the play's sight gags, well-intended silliness and, of course, those costumes (design by Allina Bokovikova): flouncy dresses and gigantic wigs and pantaloons. Lots of makeup, too.

The drawing-room story (set in 1666) about the effect of one brazen truth-teller on a society of insouciant truth-benders plays second fiddle to the visuals-a suggestion of cleavage here, an unignorable wart there. The cast is clearly having a ball: Jessica John and Dana Hooley, in particular, among the women, and as three fops, Phil Johnson, David McBean and Jason Heil are free to boldly go wherever they can get big laughs. Old pro Jonathan McMurtry is on hand, too, as always to show 'em how it's done.

'Twas an interesting moment Saturday night when the lights went out during Act 2. For a second or two, the actors (and audience) were plunged into darkness. Then things continued under house lights before technicalities were cleared righted. That left chaos only on the stage, where in this romp, it's supposed to be.

North Coast Repertory Theatre's The School for Lies continues through March 16.

Calendar

  • Known as the ‘Official Scripps National Spelling Bee Watch Party for Adults,’ guests can cheer on kids in the Scripps National Spelling Bee on ESPN before competing in a spelling bee themselves
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • A mass action against the closing of the UCSD University Art Gallery. Participants will meet at the Silent Tree (located near the Library Walk) and march together toward the Gallery
  • Local science illustrator Melissa Walter presents new abstract works that are literal interpretations of astronomical theories
  • So Say We All invites listeners to hear stories about real life, the internet, the ways those places intersect or the way they don't intersect at all, told by seven locals
  • The author, comic book writer, and son of Stephen King will sign his new apocalyptic thriller, The Fireman
See all events on Thursday, May 26