The Liar's Mask

Even with the assistance of Detective Google, I'm having a difficult time grasping the tenets of commedia dell'arte. You see, ONSTAGE in Bedford starts running Pinocchio Commedia this Friday at 8 p.m., running through July 12. The play is Johnny Simons' retelling of the ancient lying-will-cause-physical-deformation fable in something called commedia dell'arte. Now, I have no idea what that term means, but, evidently, the same characters are present in each commedia dell'arte, regardless of whether it's a Pinocchio remix or a Basic Instinct adaptation. Like the character Pantalone is also Geppeto. The cricket is also Arlecchina (a clown), the fox is Razulla, the cat is Beltramo and on and on. The extreme Herschel Walker-ness of this play is exhausting. But if you're sane enough not to get bogged down in the dualism of all the characters, commedia dell'arte actually sounds pretty entertaining. The actors wear some crazy masks, there's a bunch of slapstick humor going on, improvisation is encouraged and sometimes the play totally bogs down so the cast can put on some isolated comedic performance that has nothing to do with the plot. Should be interesting powder keg with the all-youth cast. ONSTAGE is located at 2819 Forest Ridge Road in Bedford, and tickets can be had by calling 817-354-6444 or by visiting
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 p.m. Starts: June 27. Continues through July 12, 2008

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