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

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • 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...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28