At first glance, playwright David Ives's The School for Lies seems to be a faithful replication of a 17th century comedy of manners. Not only is the work directly derived from Moliere's The Misanthrope, but the period setting allows for extravagantly attired aristocrats of the French court to dalliance in double entendre while maintaining an air of decorous propriety. A closer listen to the loquaciously lewd dialogue, however, will quickly dispel any notion of primness. Voiced in iambic pentameter to modern sensibilities, the verbal riffing amplifies the bawdiness of the humor while incorporating intentionally anachronistic references that joyfully subvert historic fidelity. Rife with simmering passions and scalding jealousies, the play's twisted romantic entanglements center around Clementine, a glamorous widow smitten with Frank, a blunt speaker whose callous honesty contrasts sharply with the legions of silver tongued suitors. Satirizing the customs of courtship with delightfully profane lyricism, this area premiere boasts an exceptional cast headlined by two local favorites, Kate Guentzel and John Middleton, each making their debut with Park Square Theatre. Similarly marking her inaugural directorial assignment with the company will be Amy Rummenie, the ever inventive artistic director of Walking Shadow Theatre Company. Such an impressive cast and crew only bolsters the probability that Ives's The School for Lies will be a master course in amorous buffoonery. The show is in previews from January 10-16.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m.; Jan. 14-15, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Jan. 10. Continues through Feb. 2, 2014