The Liar
83

The Liar NYC Reviews and Tickets

83%
(151 Reviews)
Positive
91%
Mixed
7%
Negative
2%
Members say
Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Great acting

About the Show

Classic Stage Company presents David Ives' adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s 'Le Menteur,' a 17th-century farce filled with misunderstandings and mistaken identities.

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Member Reviews (151)

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546 Reviews | 1881 Followers
69
Clever, Fluffy, Cute

See it if Cute and clever but also missable. A few good jokes and moments. Light fare. Banter and laughter from backstage spoiled act 2 for me.

Don't see it if Speaking in meter or French farce isn't your cup of tea.

708 Reviews | 155 Followers
86
Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny, Exquisite

See it if you like elegant farce-style comedy in Renaissance times, are a fan of the brilliant Carson Elrod, want a good laugh

Don't see it if You are not a fan of comedy or rhyming pentameter in which the play is presented, don't like cheeky adaptations with current references

688 Reviews | 116 Followers
84
Clever, Confusing, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if Another dazzling, verbal confection by Ives this time from Corneille's farce of mismatched lovers. Kahn's turbo-charged staging can confuse

Don't see it if Rhymed couplets not for everyone but Ives' verbal dexterity can at times match L-M Miranda's Inspired ensemble (Tony Roach A+) often dazzles

don
506 Reviews | 1001 Followers
83
Clever, Enchanting, Funny

See it if you enjoy farce. Despite my ahange in the taste for humor, I found this delightful. Loved Carson Elrod

Don't see it if you expect serious drama or a musical.

475 Reviews | 260 Followers
14
Dull, Monotonous, Banal, Excruciating, Overrated

See it if you want to see a very good performance by Kelly Hutchinson. She is the only actor who appears to know what she is doing on stage.

Don't see it if you have higher expectations than a college-level production of a French farce. Read more

503 Reviews | 77 Followers
98
Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you want an incredibly funny and witty play. Ives' translation is brilliant.Acting is virtually flawless. Carson Elrod shines. Don't miss it

Don't see it if you have trouble following an old fashioned farce. Just go along for the ride. It is meant to be confusing. Very funny and engrossing.

414 Reviews | 74 Followers
85
Great acting, Great writing, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if an adaptation of a 17th cent. French comedy done in verse (with modern references), you loved Ives' The Heir Apparent and you want to laugh

Don't see it if you don't want a play about a liar or one about mistaken identities that cause confusion (and laughter on our part) or a play done in verse Read more

407 Reviews | 67 Followers
80
Clever, Entertaining, Indulgent, Great writing, Funny

See it if You enjoy David Ives farcical interpretations, great cast, great fun

Don't see it if near slapstick farce is unappealing to you

Critic Reviews (40)

The New York Times
January 26th, 2017

"'The Liar' is, throughout, an effervescent delight. Mr. Ives’s lyric and comic invention never falters as he blends, in capering, cascading verse, both the cultivated language and decorous rhythms of classical comedy and cheeky, up-to-the-minute slang...Michael Kahn, the longtime artistic director of the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, unsurprisingly proves supremely adept at guiding his actors through the verse, so that there’s no daylight between character and language."
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Time Out New York
January 26th, 2017

"As in Ives’s superb 'The Heir Apparent,' much of the 'The Liar’s' pleasure stems from a continual flow of clever verbiage trippingly delivered by a vibrant cast that includes Carson Elrod and Kelly Hutchinson. As lies flood our news feeds daily, the play’s subject might not seem so funny anymore. But high-level theatrical escapism of this nature makes a strong argument for itself."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
January 26th, 2017

"A sparkling if sometimes overbright comedy...Mercilessly allegro and dense with enjoyments, it can sometimes feel a bit exhausting on the receiving end...At the breakneck tempo set by director Michael Kahn, some of the actors seem to strain to get every joke to land with a thump...Still, the troupe is mostly expert, and in the case of Carson Elrod, better than that...In any case, to laugh heartily in the theater again, after what seems like 400 years, is worth any quibbles."
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The Hollywood Reporter
January 26th, 2017

"Ives takes what should be a tough sell for modern audiences and turns it into an awful lot of fun...The production...doesn’t always live up to the writing’s sparkle. Most of the ensemble lack the necessary comic flair for the piece, and Kahn’s staging, for all its fast pacing, tends toward the one-note. Thankfully, there are exceptions...It’s these performers, and Ives’ script, that give the evening its buoyancy and its genuine comic pleasures of both the slapstick and sophisticated variety."
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Entertainment Weekly
January 26th, 2017

"Though the madcap first act flies by, the second feels a bit slower, at least until the action ramps back up to its inevitable conclusion. Ives has written a clever script—the decision to stick with verse could have been an annoying conceit, but in his capable hands, it’s an ingenious way to tweak the source material… From the rapid-fire dialogue and the mistaken-identity shenanigans to one sublimely silly duel, Ives’s 'Liar' is a treat—and that’s the truth."
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New York Daily News
January 26th, 2017

"Written in verse, the script showcases Ives's near-peerless way with wordplay and wit, gleeful anachronisms and inside jokes. Still, the exposition-heavy first half isn’t quite as breezy or fizzy as one might hope. And director Michael Kahn’s cast might crank the volume down to 10 — Classic Stage Company is a small house, so why shout? After intermission, the plot untangles. So does the production — and everything clicks."
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AM New York
January 26th, 2017

"The text, which is made up of rhymed couplets, combines sly wit and old-fashioned romantic rituals with coarse humor, a modern point of view and countless anachronisms...Staged with speedy comedic flow by Michael Kahn, 'The Liar' is a lighthearted, light-as-a-feather delight. The small cast, wearing deluxe period attire, delivers the rhymed banter and physical gags (such as repeated slapping and mimed swordplay) with youthful, hyperactive vigor."
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Theatermania
January 26th, 2017

"Even if the play isn't the laugh-out-loud comedy of the year, it comes as a welcome respite from our postmodern age of words without meaning...Ives' adaptation is slow to get off the ground...It never culminates in the tear-producing belly laugh we truly crave. Director Kahn makes up some of the difference with a caffeinated staging that keeps the ornate plot churning along...A diverting, visually sumptuous, but only mildly funny evening at the theater."
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