'School for Lies' opens in Sarasota

October 24, 2013 

From left, Brian Owen, Andrea Adnoff and Matthew Olsen star in "School for Lies." Frank Atura/publicity photo

David Ives is one of the best American comic playwrights, and Moliere is arguably the greatest comic playwright of all time.

The two meet in "School for Lies," the season-opener for the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. It starts its three-week run at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts in Sarasota Oct. 29.

"School for Lies" is an adaptation of "The Misanthrope," which is perhaps Moliere's best and best-known work.

The story revolves around a man who openly disdains almost everyone, but who falls in love with a flirtatious young woman who would seem to be the kind of person he would especially revile.

Moliere's play, besides being hilarious, was a veiled attack on the hypocrisy of 17th century aristocratic society, so it will be interesting to see what Ives does with that subtext.

In adapting Moliere's play, Ives hasn't updated it entirely. He has kept the 17th-century setting, and his script, like Moliere's, is written entirely in verse.

Asolo fans will be familiar with Ives' work. Asolo Repertory Theatre staged his "Venus in Fur" last season.

His most famous work is probably "All in the Timing," a collection of comic sketches that has long been popular with local and regional theaters.

Details: Oct. 29-Nov. 17 at the Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Show times: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $27-$29. Information: 941-351-8000, www.asolorep.org.

-- Marty Clear

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