The Liar at Marquette University

Last night, I had the opportunity to go see The Liar at the Helfaer Theatre at Marquette University. The Liar is a 17th century comedy by Pierre Corneille that was adapted and translated by David Ives in 2011. The whole show (mostly) is delivered in modern-language rhymed iambic pentameter and it is extremely funny. Once again, the Marquette University Theatre Department does not disappoint in delivering an outstanding show.

As a disclaimer, I must point out that the role of Philiste was portrayed by my son, A.J., a freshman in the MU theatre program. So I may have a slight bias when it comes to my feelings for this performance. That being said, I think that the entire cast did a tremendous job in the show. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that, of the eight characters in the show, six were played by seniors, one by a junior, and one freshman. Over the past several years, we have seen many of these actors in multiple shows on the MU stage and they are all very good. The two main characters in the show are Dorante (played by Ben Braun), a young lawyer that is a practiced liar, and his servant, Cliton (played by Armando Ronconi), who can do nothing but tell the truth. It was just so much fun to watch these two young men interact on stage. They really made this show a success.

I will mention a couple other outstanding performances as well. Kyle Conner played Alcippe, the main rival of Dorante in the show. We have previously seen Kyle in several MU productions including the lead in Hamlet last season. His portrayal of the enraged, jealous fiancé was a joy to watch. Additionally Hannah Klapperich-Mueller portrayed Dorante’s father, Geronte. A challenging role for a young woman and she executed it with ease. It was interesting to see her in this role after having enjoyed her performance as Maggie in Lend Me A Tenor with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre last spring.

Finally, I need to give a huge shout-out to A.J. Magoon and his performance as Philiste, the quintessential renaissance fop. His affectations and his walk were pure comic genius to me. I couldn’t help but chuckle every time he showed up on stage. Hopefully, we will see him many more times on the MU stage and I will be bursting with pride every time.

Kudos to everyone involved in this show. You should be very proud.

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