Mom Theatre Blogger: Clever Little Lies: Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman

Clever-Little-LiesAfter a grueling game of tennis between father and son, Billy weepily confesses to his elderly dad, Bill Sr., that he is having an affair with Jasmine, a 23 year old trainer at his gym, and that he yearns to whisk her off to Hawaii and have some wicked sex on the beach.   Bill Sr.’s jaw drops at the description of Bill’s lustful romps (including blow jobs) with the trainer.  He is appalled, particularly given that Bill and his wife, Jane, recently became parents, but he vows to keep the secret…that is…until Alice, his bookstore owner wife, manages to pry out of him that something is up, literally, and she can’t wait to dig right in to find out the truth.  Billy and Jane are baited with cheesecake to come visit with the baby, and fighting ensues and confessions are made.  We’re not quite sure what is the truth or not, and that is half the fun and intrigue of it all.

Playwright Joe DiPetro, is as skilled at writing humor as he is at tugging at your heartstrings.  And, this is true of the engaging cast as well.  Headlined by the ageless Marlo Thomas, she is joined by Greg Mullavey as her husband, and George Merrick and Kate Wetherhead as the young married couple.  Mullavey turns in a tender and hysterical performance.  His deadpan facial expressions are priceless and speak volumes.  Thomas looks great and is spunky and right on cue with her comedic delivery and wide-eyed moments of frustration and soul-bearing. Merrick and Wetherhead are likeable and well-matched as the sparring young couple, and their scene driving in a car with their 3-month old, as they take turns singing to the baby, captures the essence of new parents struggling to maintain a sense of couplehood as they placate their crying child.

The design team for Clever Little Lies will include Yoshi Tanokura (Scenic Design) — a striking set of Alice and Bill Sr.’s home, Esther Arroyo (Costume Design), Christopher J. Bailey (Lighting Design) and Scott Killian (Sound Design & Composition).  The musical interludes lent an air of charm to the production, and Bailey’s film-like projections created a warmth and strong sense of setting.

Touching on themes of aging, marital strife, infidelity and career uncertainty, Clever Little Lies, directed by David Saint, is 90 minutes (no intermission) of heart and humor neatly tied up…..or perhaps not…..and we are left to ponder that.

Clever Little Lies is playing at Westside Theater (Upstairs).  Visit

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