American Players Presents THE LIAR Review — A Non-Stop Comedy of Tall Tales

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A letter is delivered. A challenge for a duel is issued. En guarde is yelled and the two draw their blades in anticipation. They raise their arms and our eyes shoot up to where their blades should meet with an almighty clang. And yet, there's not a sound to be heard. Our eyes dart down again, and we find Dorante has not even drawn his sword! Somehow a fight ensues with just words and without blades, but leaving the two breathless as if they've just finished the battle of a lifetime. Here, in The Liar, fantastical lies and comedy abound.

American Players Show Off Their Comedy Chops

Playwright David Ives blends traditional with modern in this adaptation of The Liar. The cast gets to show off their poetic abilities as the script is entirely in pentameter, giving us that traditional 17th century feel. However, Ives has also updated the text to include more modern references and the cast delivers each line with ease and milks every second to bring the laughs out from the audience. 

Daniel José Molina as the lying Dorante charms everyone around him with his tall tales. He grips his father with the action-packed tale of how he married his (fake) wife. He paints a picture of an indulgent evening upon a boat with dozens of dinner courses and fireworks overhead.

Those around him take their moments in the spotlight as well. As quick-to-anger Alcippe (Casey Hoekstra) grows more and more enraged at the bacchanalian boat trip, we can’t help but giggle as his face turns redder and redder. Cliton (Josh Krause) stands wide eyed and open mouthed, believing every word that comes out of Dorante’s mouth. As Clarice and Lucrece (Phoebe González and Samantha Newcomb) switch identities to fool Dorante, we laugh as shy Lucrece becomes so bold she has the usually brazen Clarice yell out, I can’t say that! 

Opposites and Duality

The costumes also blend the modern with the traditional. Clarice and Lucrece enter from the center aisle just as Dorante asks about the ladies of the town. How fortuitous! They look the part of high society ladies, dripping in jewels from their hair to their clothing. Clarice is in a bright pink brocade gown with purple curly hair and Lucrece in almost the same identical dress but in purple with pink curly hair. 

Kelsey Brennan first enters as Isabelle in a low-cut dress with a rocker edge adding to her flirtatious vibe. However, not to be confused with her twin sister Sabine (also played by Brennan) she switches from open flirt to high neck blouse and no-nonsense attitude in an instant.

While the costumes catch our eyes, the set also bursts with color. The floor and surrounding seats are painted a kelly green with cobalt blue fleur de lis. In the ladies’ house, trays are brought out filled with every color sweet imaginable. It adds to this brightly colored fictional world that has our eyes glued to each moment.

For those looking for a night out with non-stop laughter and jokes, The Liar would be a good fit for you. 


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Cliton Josh Krause
Dorante Daniel José Molina
Clarice Phoebe González
Lucrece Samantha Newcomb
Isabelle / Sabine Kelsey Brennan
Alcippe Casey Hoekstra
Philliste Sam Luis Massaro
Geronte La Shawn Banks


Director Keira Fromm
Voice & Text Coach Eva Breneman
Assistant Director Lulu Guzman
Costume Design Holly Payne
Scenic Design Andrew Boyce
Lighting Design Dawn Chiang
Sound Design & Original Music Josh Schmidt
Director of Movement Jeb Burris
Assistant Costume Design Kassandra Rodriguez
Stage Management Assistant Bri Humke
Stage Manager Rivka Kelly


Now through September 29, 2023
Performance schedule varies; please see website for details.


The Hill Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
Spring Green, WI 53588



Tickets can be purchased through the American Players Theatre website

Photos: Liz Lauren

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Alexis Bugajski

About the Author: Alexis Bugajski

Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.

Editor's Note:  Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski

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