CLT will present updated 1750 comedy – and that’s no lie

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WHAT: “The Liar”

WHO: Community Little Theatre

WHEN: at 8 p.m. Jan. 12, 13, 19, 20

at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18

at 2 p.m. Jan. 14, 21

TICKETS: $15/$13. They may be purchased online at www.laCLT.com or by calling the box office at 783-0958.

CLT will present updated 1750 comedy – and that’s no lie

AUBURN – One little lie follows another until the impossibly tangled web trips up the prevaricator.

“We can all think of someone like that,” said Celeste Philippon, who is directing the Community Little Theatre production of “The Liar,” opening Jan. 12.

Philippon described “The Liar” as a very funny comedy of errors. It’s set in Venice and is filled with twists and mistaken identities.

“The lesson is the same anywhere,” Philippon said. Fibs and lies come back to haunt the liar and, in this case, the buildup and inevitable outcome is chock-full of laughs.

Philippon emphasized that “The Liar” is not an adaptation of the 1997 film comedy “Liar Liar,” which starred Jim Carrey. In fact, it is a classic of Italian theater dating back to 1750. It was written by Carlo Goldoni, whom critics now rank among the greatest authors of European theater. His works include some of Italy’s most famous and best-loved plays.

So, how does Philippon present this play from more than 250 years ago for a 21st century audience?

She brings it up to date – or at least as far as the 1920s. She noted that it is still set in Venice because of numerous references specific to Italy.

“The Liar” revolves around Lelio, a young man who is incapable of telling the truth.

“Lelio has gotten through life by embroidering everything so the tapestry of his life will be more interesting,” she said.

After an absence of 20 years, Lelio returns to Venice. He immediately spins one outlandish whopper after another. Complications multiply, and the misunderstandings pile up. Before long, he has thrown the budding romances of two lovely young sisters into turmoil; and in a short 24 hours, he has created such a tangle of fabrications that it appears doubtful things can ever be set straight.

Donald Libby portrays Lelio. He has been in other CLT productions, but this marks his first major role, Philippon said.

Calvin Shaw plays Lelio’s servant, Arlecchino. He also has appeared in previous CLT shows, but not over the past couple of years.

Grady Breton is cast as Pantalone, the liar’s father. Philippon said Breton came to the L-A area from Texas about 10 years ago, and this is his first venture onto the local stage.

The role of Doctor Balanzoni is played by Mark Hazard, who will be remembered by CLT audiences for his performances in “Proof” and in “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

The doctor’s young daughters, Rosaura and Beatrice, are played by Amanda Huotari and Crystal Packard, respectively. Their maid, Colombina, is played by CarlaRose Ricciuti.

David Moisan is Florindo, the shy, reticent lover who is totally smitten by Rosaura. His confidant, Brighella, is played by Marcel Dubois.

Ottavio, who is in love with Beatrice, is played by Joshua Harris. He was also a stand-out member of the cast in “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Mike Arsenault plays the letter carrier and the coachman. Adam Blais is the draper’s assistant. Debbie Bishop is the innkeeper and an incognito serenader of the lovers.

Auburn Mayor John T. Jenkins and a group of City Council members and administrators will meet and greet patrons who have reservations at a 7 p.m. opening night reception Jan. 12.

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