There’s probably no hotter playwright in America these days than Joe DiPietro. He wrote the book and lyrics for “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” which ran for more than decade Off-Broadway and is still produced frequently around the world. He won Tony Awards for the book of the hit musical “Memphis” (which also won the Tony for Best Musical) and his sentimental non-musical plays, including “Living on Love” and “Over the River and Through the Woods” are staples of local and regional theaters around the country.
One of his most recent plays is “Clever Little Lies.” It’s next up from Florida Studio Theatre, where it opens Friday, with a run that extends into early March.
DiPietro’s plays are well-crafted, funny and deliberately non-challenging. They’re almost old-fashioned, and they’ve often drawn comparisons to the work of Neil Simon. In fact, one review from the New York run of “Clever Little Lies” noted that it felt like a throw-back to the 1960s.
The plot revolves around a couple named Alice and Bill (played by Rita Rehn and Jon Shaver) who invite their son Bill Jr. (Jon Shaver) and his wife Jane (Allyson Jean Malandra) over for coffee. Bill Jr. confides in his father that he’s thinking of leaving his wife for a young trainer at his gym. When his secret comes out, other revelations about the two couples follow.
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The FST production is directed by Jame Alexander.
Details: Dec. 16-March 6, Keating Theatre at Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Ave, Sarasota. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. $25-39. 941-366-9000, floridastudiotheatre.org.