“School for Lies” – a review

This week I saw a play by David Ives. A fascinating glimpse into the lives of characters straight out of Molière, the play is very funny, with an air of parody of parody — a farce, and yet it’s very “meta”. If you parse the levels of the humor, in a way you’re seeing two distinct, divergent sorts of play.

This weaving of two levels keeps us guessing, when dialog may be, in fact addressing, not the situation up on stage, but us, the audience. It’s all the rage, this splitting of each character in two. It’s very entertaining — very “new”. But sometimes it came off as sort of rude, like when characters surprisingly said “dude”. The shock of it will clearly make us laugh, and yet it kind of splits the thing in half.

Like Molière, the playwright uses rhyme to keep words flowing, shifting on a dime. The dialog, composed of rhyming couplets, keeps things fast, the mood is very up. Let’s take a moment though to really question whether it’s the power of suggestion that makes us think that making things “poetic” (while keeping all activity frenetic), equates to wit and makes it all seem new. Hell, even a mere blogger’s play review can do the same. Oh well, whatever. Hey, all in all I really loved the play.

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