How much do you sacrifice for your children? The promise of greener pastures? The lure of youthful indiscretions?
Our self-interest, two-time Tony-winner Joe DiPietro tells us in Clever Little Lies, at the Westside Theatre/Upstairs through January 3rd, is subsumed in our parental care for our offspring. Our lives and how we live them are comprised of the choices we make; being content with those choices may be the best recipe for lifelong happiness.
Is confession good for the soul? Ask Alice (Marlo Thomas) or her son, Billy (George Merrick). When Bill, Sr. (Greg Mullavey) beats Billy in a Friday tennis match, he senses that something is wrong. Sworn to secrecy over Billy’s confidence, Bill is unable to keep Alice from finding out what the two men discussed. What does Billy’s wife Jane (Kate Wetherhead) guess about what’s going on?
Sometimes, it’s all about the pauses. Noone is better at the pregnant pause than Greg Mullavey. He expresses shock and pain with tense and well-orchestrated stillness.
The cast, under David Saint’s direction, are terrific. Kate Wetherhead exposes her cluelessness in such a knowing way that rooting for her comes naturally. Marlo Thomas gives a poignant, intuitive and funny performance. George Merrick runs a gamut of emotions as naturally as if he were revealing his faults and weaknesses to us. Everything–and everyone– on the stage rings true.
Yoshi Tanokura (scenic design) and Christian J. Bailey (lighting) play with the limits of the stage by using cinematic effects. The scenic design is bolstered by a wonderful series of films pinpointing the places where Clever Little Lies takes us. This is a sophisticated production of an intelligently-written play.
For more information about Clever Little Lies, please visit http://www.cleverlittlelies.com/