“Promiscuous as a bedpan…”
You just don’t get to hear insults as clever and funny in everyday life! This is non-stop zany word play that rhymes!
David Ives’ The School for Lies is a witty and hilarious play in verse that will entertain and delight anyone. You get the ridiculousness of a classic comedy of manners updated with contemporary banter. The use of the term “LOL” is certainly unfamiliar in 1666 Paris.
The play focuses on a battle of wits between Frank, a grouchy yet witty traveler, and Celimene, a young widow who is being wooed by various suitors and currently being sued. The world consists of many other colorful characters who all get caught up in the games of seduction, lies and – most of all – zany wordplay.
Unbelievable and Hilarious Dialogue
David Ives’s dialogue astounds. Any lover of words and the way they are able to construct clever banter will be knocked out by the writing. Not only are the words brilliant, but they all rhyme. It is truly something to be heard.
The Artistic Home Constructs a Distinct Look and Feel
The staging, costumes and make-up are that of fantasy. If this play were somehow shown as a midnight movie, it would certainly garner cult fame like The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It is simply begging to be turned into an audience favorite. Zachery Wagner’s costume design is outrageous and on point. It would not seem at all unnatural to see these characters as Halloween costumes or cosplayed at conventions.
The space is small. When action reaches its pinnacle, the audience feels breezes from the actors’ motion. The dresses swoop past and there are harmless projectiles that may, in fact, hit you. It is an active play despite having dialogue as its main draw.
You will never be bored or feel disengaged.
The Artistic Home Delivers Talent in Ensemble
With a cast this strong, it is difficult to single any one actor out among the ensemble. Mark Pracht is the embodiment of misanthropy with his portrayal of Frank. Never has hatred of humanity been so utterly hilarious and relatable. Annie Hogan is a worthy adversary with her embodiment of the widow Celimene. Not only is her comedic timing impeccable, but her dialogue and movement work so well together that you’ll believe she speaks in verse all the time. Brookelyn Hebert is enchanting as the seemingly sweet yet deceptively feisty Eliante. She transforms at the drop of a hat and is beyond charming – a force to reckoned with. Julian Hester is completely adorable and funny. His knack for comedy and natural approach to the ridiculous nature of the play is extraordinary and a complete joy.
Photos by Joe Mazza/Brave Lux Photography
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Top Pick For: Lovers of word play
Not recommended for: Those with a short attention span
Note: An excerpt of this review appears in Theater in Chicago.
June 28 - August 13, 2017
Friday and Saturdays 8:00PM
The Artistic Home’s Theatre, 1376 W. Grand Ave., Chicago