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Theater & Dance

Must-See: Marlo Thomas in Clever Little Lies

Must-See: Marlo Thomas in Clever Little Lies

Photo by Matthew Murphy

The play closes on January 24—so buy your ticket now!

Openly gay playwright and author Joe DiPietro's latest New York City outing, Off-Broadway's Clever Little Lies, is sadly closing on January 24. Best known for the smash hit musicals Memphis and I Love You, You're Perfect, NowChange, DiPietro's current comedic play comes across as a quaint confection in the vein of the drawing room play. But under the giggles and guffaws it keenly leaves the audience to ponder the true weight of the lies we tell.

Clever Little Lies' highlights deft comedienne Marlo Thomas. Whether you remember her as Anne Marie from ThatGirl or Rachel's mom from Friends, it is a delight to watch her on stage. Delivering quips and hilarious facial expressions with precision, Thomas keeps the audience laughing through the play's numerous twists. The play's unpredictability is its appeal, the actress says:

"Well, I liked that it had so many changes in it - that you think it is going in one direction, then it has a surprise, then it has another twist, and then another surprise. As an actress, that's fun to play. People usually gasp, they clap, and they are just completely taken aback. They don't know that is where the story is going. They don't know that is what is going to happen, and that's fun."

Thomas plays a loving mother and wife, who takes it upon herself to help her son save his marriage from the brink of disaster. As the plot unfolds we see a woman do everything she can to help her son.

"She's trying to teach him the lessons she learned in her own life. When the son's talking to his wife, he says, 'It was just an affair.' His mother [Thomas' character] turns to him and says, 'That's right. It was just an affair.' Meaning, that was all that it was. It was nothing. It was flattery. All flattery."


Photo by Matthew Murphy

But how does Thomas make sure that the real emotions of the show comes across in the comedic performance? "I'm telling the truth, and it's the given situation that's funny." Noting that the show's emotional center is firmly present in the script, she adds, "Joe [DiPietro] comes from a very close-knit, Italian family, and I have a feeling that's where he is coming from."

However, successfully pulling off comedy is no easy feat. "There are only four of us on stage. We're completely dependent on each other: throwing the bar, holding the bar, and throwing back the bar at exactly the right time. We've gotten it to such a beautiful dance." And, that is what makes the comedy in Clever Little Lies such a success. The audience sees four skilled performers smartly playing off one another and having as much fun on the stage as we are in our seats.

Buy your ticket to Clever Little Lies before it closes on January 24.

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