Molière’s wit meets its match in this saucy, scintillating new adaptation. Tony Award-nominee David Ives’ deliciously off-color tribute to The Misanthrope stuffs a seventeenth-century farce full of contemporary slang—with results worthy of a Baroque reality show. Amid a glittering world of gossip, glamour and scandal, a gaggle of misbehaving characters chatter away in hilarious rhyming couplets. The ensemble features acclaimed Stratford Festival actors—and real-life husband and wife—Ben Carlson and Deborah Hay. Staged by Artistic Director Barbara Gaines in the uniquely personal setting of CST’s Courtyard Theater, this blissfully entertaining night promises to keep you laughing all the way home.
Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes (includes intermission)
The School for Lies is presented in the Jentes Family Auditorium.
Frank, a penniless Frenchman who has been living in England, prides himself on telling everyone the truth as he sees it. On a visit to Paris’s most glittering salon, Frank tries to demonstrate to his new friend Philinte the evils of telling lies by starting a rumor that Philinte dresses in women’s clothing. It’s not exactly love at first sight when Frank then meets Celimene, a lovely though gossip-loving widow whose favorite pastime is entertaining her adoring suitors by scandalously sending up members of the Paris “scene.” As revenge for the rumor about women’s clothing, Philinte tells Celimene that Frank is actually King Louis’s bastard brother and a man of immense influence. Celimene suddenly wants to get to know Frank better, hoping someone as highly placed as he (so she thinks) might help her in court with a slander case that stands to ruin her.
Philinte meanwhile tells Frank that Celimene is in love with him, and Frank decides that the only noble thing to do is to love her back. An unusual courtship ensues, entailing some stolen love letters, a false proposal invented to spark jealousy, and several cases of misunderstandings and mistaken identity, all contributing to a comic tug-of-war that leads the two “lovers” to their fated end.
See who's who among the actors.
The Creative Team
See who’s who on the creative team—the director, designers and other artists who contribute to the creation of the world of the play.