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Clever Little Lies

Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Great acting, Delightful
75
Critics
69
37 reviews
Members
78
82 reviews
 

Emmy, Grammy & Golden Globe Award winner Marlo Thomas returns in a new comedy by Tony Award winner Joe DiPietro about love, family and the secrets we keep.

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A mother always knows when something is wrong. When Alice (Thomas) notices her beloved husband Bill has returned home on edge after a tennis match with their son, she grows suspicious and springs into action. Determined to piece together the puzzle, she invites her son and daughter-in-law over for drinks and dessert. Sidesplitting chaos ensues as Alice digs for the truth, resulting in even more honesty than anyone expected. A story of long-term love and marriage… for better…and for worse.

 

Cast & Creatives (13)


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Reviews (119)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
69
Avg Score

65
The New York Times

"While it feels like a throwback to Broadway comedies of the 1960s, this is a new play...Ms. Thomas gives an enjoyable, mildly touching performance as Alice...The rest of the cast is also fine...Good old-fashioned comfort food for theatergoers who prefer entertainment that caters to their long-established tastes, plays that offer a blend of comedy and sentiment, with maybe just a hint of a sting." Full Review

65
BroadwayWorld

"Likeable, but never uproarious as a comedy, the shift in tone is at first confusing and eventually a let-down, though Thomas and Mullavey play the piece with warmth, chemistry and dry playfulness. Merrick and Wetherhead are both fine in roles that are generally regulated to playing straight for the company's senior members. Director David Saint's production is slick and energetic but 'Clever Little Lies' can use more cleverness to keep the evening from just laying there." Full Review

40
New York Magazine / Vulture

"Not an ounce of this is believable, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be entertaining.a lot of the audience spent most of the play’s 90 minutes anticipating and roaring. As I sat there stone-faced, I could only conclude that this was because they found tickly what felt to me like the onset of eczema...It’s pro forma, not passionate, offering at best the pleasure of familiarity. Perhaps in sitcom-ish plays like this, the 'com' part of the word means 'comfy.'” Full Review

45
Theatermania

"The scenario is rife with theatrical potential — both dramatic and comedic — but neither DiPietro's dialogue nor David Saint's direction lend the play any distinct theatricality. The stage seems to be more of a hurdle than a comfortable home for the play, whose evenly spaced quips and literal environment seem better suited for a sitcom than a staged production... The sense underlying the play is a world of sitcom where punch lines are a beat away and stakes don't truly exist. " Full Review

40
Time Out New York

"The whole affair plays out like an R-rated family sitcom, with hoary humor and a generic style—the handsome but hollow design elements do nothing to enhance these 2D characters. Toward the end, there's a jarring turn toward pathos, and though this is David Saint's third time directing the material, he's unable to smoothly navigate the improbable tone shift." Full Review

35
Lighting & Sound America

"It's all in the service of a distinctly rickety vehicle, a labored family-trauma piece that consistently settles for the laziest, easiest jokes until it takes on a totally unearned seriousness. DiPietro's play is filled with lies, but very, very few of them are clever." Full Review

85
The Huffington Post

"In 'Clever Little Lies' every line hits hard. Playwright Joe DiPietro has no mercy as he portrays a cheating husband whose child-obsessed wife coddles her baby with the new-age spirit and energy that make parents dreadful company these days...DiPietro's wit bleeds from his pen, and despite the fact that adultery is in the spotlight, most of the play forces you to guffaw until your lungs hurt and you're battling for a gasp of air." Full Review

85
Broadway Blog

"'Clever Little Lies' is a comedy of the crisply-paced, well-made, sit-com variety that used to appear in New York almost every year. It’s lovingly directed, elegantly designed, nicely cast, includes a popular star (the redoubtable Marlo Thomas), comes well stocked with zingers, makes room for pathos, and offers the kind of amusing postprandial entertainment tired businessmen and their wives (or mistresses) always used to flock to. It was my guilty theatre pleasure of the week." Full Review

40
Talkin' Broadway

"DiPietro is so derivative of the form that he's innovated little and added nothing except time, which is the least useful commodity here...Only Thomas truly gets that 'Clever Little Lies' is disposable and forgettable and treats it accordingly...Thomas doesn't create lasting fireworks — but at least it's something." Full Review

70
Deadline

"'Clever Little Lies' is nothing if not well-crafted...'Clever Little Lies' exists in that dreamscape of First World problems in which no issue is more pressing than the preservation of family under threat from a limber lover. It’s M&Ms, a guilty pleasure." Full Review

70
The Wrap

"The most shocking thing about Joe DiPietro’s 'Clever Little Lies' is that here’s a new comedy with no shock value. DiPietro is so clean that it’s refreshing..He’s at his best when keeping us in the dark about whether the tale being told is real or one big ballsy lie." Full Review

55
NorthJersey.com

"For much of its 90 minutes, 'Clever Little Lies,' plays like an old-fashioned comedy for the Social Security set. One of those comforting plays that promises easily soluble problems...I don't think the twain of broad comedy and mournful sentimentality ever meet, dramatically speaking. The play's closing image, though, is quite touching, suggesting in a picture the ups and downs of marital life much more vividly than did the many words that preceded it." Full Review

85
Theater Pizzazz

"What is that sixth sense that women possess that tells them something’s going on? It couldn’t be more in tune than in this hilarious new comedy by Joe DiPietro...Director David Saint drives the humor to propitious proportions with this talented case of four in 90 minutes with no intermission." Full Review

80
CurtainUp

"Director David Saint makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts...Writer DiPietro' s structure may be conventional, but its execution is flawless. Plot developments follow each other like links in a chain, liberally greased with humor to move them along. It combines humorous fluff with substantial emotion. Its seemingly opposing aspects don't diminish each other. In fact, they complement each other. Not an easy thing to pull off." Full Review

90
Reflections in the Light

"It has been a while since I have laughed all the way through a show. Somewhere in between we also discover some serious themes about relationships, marriage and the importance of working at them. It’s funny, tender and satisfying... This show is an enjoyable 90-minute, no-intermission romp. And that’s no clever little lie." Full Review

75
TheaterScene.net

"The physical comedy is subtle and effective, but is over-the-top in just enough places to keep the laughter going continuously. Though one can hardly call the comedy of 'Clever Little Lies' 'smart'—it is more vulgar than anything—Saint employs many different tactics to elicit laughs from his audience...'Clever Little Lies' is a light-hearted romp which keeps the audience in stitches." Full Review

85
Motherhood Later

"Playwright Joe DiPetro, is as skilled at writing humor as he is at tugging at your heartstrings. And, this is true of the engaging cast as well... Touching on themes of aging, marital strife, infidelity and career uncertainty, 'Clever Little Lies,' directed by David Saint, is 90 minutes of heart and humor neatly tied up…..or perhaps not… and we are left to ponder that." Full Review

85
Theater Life

"Marlo Thomas shines in 'Clever Little Lies,' a delightful new comedy...The beautifully written tale is a witty and brisk story with a few bittersweet surprises...The actors turn in charming performances with marvelous chemistry and timing." Full Review

85
Showbiz 411

"'Clever Little Lies' is quite clever in that it’s based on a twist and a little bit of a mind game that you don’t expect...There will be a threat of moving 'Clever Little Lies' to a Broadway house. But I hope not. It’s a little comedy gem that can run forever." Full Review

75
NY Theatre Guide

"While some of the plot devices seem dated and a few snippets of dialogue come off as laboriously glib, it succeeds in creating an overall nostalgic tone. Thursday night’s performance was warmly received by its audience, as evidenced by several robust laughs and rounds of enthusiastic applause...In its best moments, 'Clever Little Lies' sheds light with humor and heart on the truths that surround ideals of love and commitment." Full Review

60
SusanGranger.com

"Marlo hasn’t left her wide-eyed sitcom sensibility far behind, meaning that the audience can anticipate the punchlines long before she delivers them. Director David Saint does his best to make these genial but obviously stock characters likeable, primarily by astute casting." Full Review

90
LA Splash

"Terrific belly laugh of a show...There are lots of laughs, as one person's problem becomes a bit complicated and from there all breaks loose as we experience what 'should have been' a nice night with family and turns out to be a future sitcom...What actually is the truth that ultimately comes out? I'd rather not spoil it. It's funny, sad and thought-provoking. DiPietro has it down perfectly." Full Review

90
Stage Buddy

"This 90-minute, no-intermission show will not only make you burst into laughter (some audience members were laughing after every line), but will allow you a window into the compromises we all make and the humanity it takes to make them. With a strong cast and humorous script, 'Clever Little Lies' tells a simple story with touching message. It's well worth your time." Full Review

75
TheaterScene.com

"If you have been craving to see a play that harkens back to the good ole days of the mid 1960’s, look no further. The reverberations of Neil Simon hang heavy over the Westside Theatre on 43rd street...for a certain percentage of its elderly audience it will feel like manna from heaven. Fifty years ago this play would have been a huge hit, today’s theatrical climate with patrons clutching their cell phones in the dark is another matter. You can go back home, but it looks and feels more like a... Full Review

70
Edge New York

"Production values are high... It's a little too easy to mock DiPietro's shallow, self-involved people, but he does an admirable job of finding layers in characters who initially seem thoroughly uninteresting. Like it or not, many of us will recognize ourselves, even if we wish we didn't. " Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
78
Avg Score

80
Quirky, Fluffy

See it if That Girl.

Don't see it if Looking for riveting theater

71
Funny, Quirky, Disappointing, Cliched, Fluffy

See it if you like "family secret" plays. A good cast but it is given little to work with in the script.

Don't see it if you're hoping for something actually clever. There were several missed opportunities to make a forgettable play interesting.

89
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you want to laugh. this is top three funnies shows I have ever seen. I almost didn't go because I usually don't like it when big stars are

Don't see it if on the stage. Thomas great and so was the rest of the cast. I don't see how everyone would not love this show.

78
Funny, Entertaining, Light

See it if you like light=hearted plays about family relationships.

Don't see it if you don't like comedies.

83
Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if want to see a very well done play, that is both humorous and serious at the same time.

Don't see it if you don't like plays.

84
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if You love Marlo Thomas...she was on point! Terrific casting. See it also if you enjoy stories about the tangled webs we weave.

Don't see it if Take issue with topics related to infidelity and open discussions about sex. FYI: Leave the kids at home.

60
Pointless, Confusing, Cliched, Dated, Dull

See it if I enjoyed Kate Wetherhead's performance. Mildly entertaining. If you like older family sitcoms with a bit of drama it might work for you.

Don't see it if The other actors were competent but unremarkable. The play has no reason for being. It was neither funny nor dramatic enough to compensate.

79
Funny, Clever, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy mindless but fun entertainment

Don't see it if you're a prude

91
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want a funny fast-paced romantic comedy starring a fantastic cast including Marlo Thomas.

Don't see it if You don't like romantic comedies

73
Cliched, Slow

See it if Infidelity themes and family dynamics intrigue you

Don't see it if You are looking for an engaging or fast paced plot

89
Funny, Great acting, Cliched, Fluffy

See it if You like little twists and turns, with laughs along the way.

Don't see it if You do not surprises and want to see an outcome that is expected.

93
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You like clever dialog and great acting. Also had a beautiful set of a house and an amazing scene in a car. Very humorous play.

Don't see it if See it!

93
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy good acting and a clever story

Don't see it if you are looking for a musical

75
Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever ;-)

See it if You like a good fun story. Heartwarming and real. Great actors and staging. Clever quips.

Don't see it if you don't have time. It's worth going if you can.

70
Funny, Banal, Disappointing, Insipid, Dated

See it if you want a little off broadway show to see.

Don't see it if you want a better show and writing.

75
Great acting, Dated, Very funny at first, but turns serious, Does seem to be a throwback to an earlier time, Sets and staging very good

See it if you're a Marlo Thomas fan.

Don't see it if you like edgier fare.

77
Funny, Clever, Great acting

See it if you are a fan of sitcom and a fan of any of the talented cast.

Don't see it if looking for a deep, intense play or something to knock your socks off comedy.

78
Clever, Enchanting

See it if You like comedies with and edge and you are a fan of Marlo Thomas

Don't see it if Ir cliche rompy comedies are not to your taste

60
Funny, Great acting, Cliched, Dated, Fluffy

See it if You're a member of the Neil Simon generation, and like his work. Also, if you like Marlo Thomas and Greg Mullavey as they're both excellent

Don't see it if You're looking for something new or edgy and relevant to today.

74
Well made comedy with laughs plus resonant ending

See it if you enjoy excellent ensemble comedic acting featuring priceless reactions and surprise ending that lifts this above most sitcoms

Don't see it if you think you've seen this comedic situation a thousand times (you have) and Marlo Thomas at times mistakes posing for acting

81
Funny, Great acting, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if Just to see Marlo Thomas, is a delight.

Don't see it if You don't like racy, four letter words.

75
Great writing

See it if you're a fan of Marlo Thomas or Kate Wetherhead. The cast is great and Marlo and Kate really shine.

Don't see it if you're expecting a rollicking comedy. This show feels a bit like a cross between a sitcom and a Lifetime movie.

55
Funny, Confusing, Cliched, Dated

See it if You're a fan of Marlo Thomas. You want to hear a few good jokes.

Don't see it if You want a more original take on male/female relationships. You want a coherent plot. You're not a fan of Marlo Thomas.

86
Funny, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if An amusing story about marriage in our times will entertain you.

Don't see it if You live in a fairytale world that doesn't include the possibility of non perfect marriage !

80
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You're a fan of Marlo Thomas & enjoy sitcom style shows about relationships. The jokes are funny & plentiful & you care about the characters

Don't see it if You're looking for something meaty. This is a light show but it does explore some serious themes and has a nice message about marriage.