Clever Little Lies at Guild Hall
By: Patrick Christiano
Marlo Thomas shines in Clever Little Lies, a delightful new comedy by Joe DiPietro, which opened at The John Drew Theater in the Dina Merrill Pavilion at Guild Hall in East Hampton. Clever Little Lies, an engaging tale of infidelity, made its World Premier at the George Street Playhouse in New Jersey in 2013 with the same wonderful cast. The beautifully written tale directed by David Saint, the Artistic Director of George Street Playhouse, is a witty and brisk story with a few bittersweet surprises.
In the opening scene set in the locker room of a tennis club Billy (Jim Stanek), whose wife Jane (Kate Wetherhead) has recently given birth to their first child, confesses to his father Bill Sr. (Greg Mullavey) that he is having an affair with a 23 year old instructor at his gym and believes he has fallen in love with her. The scene becomes the catalyst for the surprising turn of events that follows, when Billy begs his father not to tell his mother Alice (Marlo Thomas).
As soon as Bill Sr. returns home, Alice on her way to the gym, immediately intuits something is off center with Billy Sr., and probes him determinedly with questions always ending them with "Don’t tell me if I am right," until she discovers the problem. She immediately arranges a dinner at their home, where she sets out to save her son’s marriage. The actors under David Saint’s directions turn in charming performances with marvelous chemistry and timing as the surprising evening shifts focus to the older couple.
Marlo Thomas is exceptional as a mature version of Ann Marie, a character she created for television’s "That Girl," a ground breaking TV show produced by Thomas herself. With smooth finesse she throws away lines with the dry humor of a wise veteran of life who has not lost her spunk or desire to make a difference, adding nuanced dimensions to her lovely performance. Her first rate co-stars match her energy and truthfulness in a funny, wistful evening of theater.
Tony Award winning playwright Joe DiPietro is best known for the Tony Award winning Broadway musical Memphis and one of Off- Broadway’s longest running shows ever, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.
Clever Little Lies is playing at Guild Hall Tuesday to Sundays at 8 pm until August 2. Matinees at 3pm on Sunday July 27 and Sunday August 3rd. No performances at 8 pm on Friday July 25 or Sunday August 3rd. For tickets call the box office at 631-324-4059 or go to www.guildhall.org
Photo T Charles Erickson