Marquette Theatre’s “The Liar” promises humorous love story


photo courtesy of James Cheatham, Ashlee Elder

Marquette’s Helfaer Theatre brings romance and comedy to campus by presenting the story of Parisian lovers with an impish twist. “The Liar,” originally written by Pierre Corneille and adapted by David Ives, promises light-hearted humor with the story of Dorante, a young gallant who cannot speak the truth.

The performance is director James Cheatham’s first production at Marquette. “It’s a great project to work on as my welcome to the Marquette Theatre,” Cheatham said.

Ben Braun, a senior in the College of Communication, brings Dorante to life on stage. “The Liar” begins as Dorante arrives in Paris, looking for social education, but not necessarily love. However, from the moment of his arrival the audience is drawn into Dorante’s web of lies, mistakes, misunderstandings, and comedic romance.

As for Dorante’s habit of lying, it seems to come from his past as a law student. The character’s lying kindles the play’s comedic nature in a perfectly harmless manner.

“I guess making fun of lawyers is a very old joke,” Cheatham said. “Dorante is an artist who weaves fiction not to hurt, but to make reality even more exciting.”

Ives’ adaptation transformed Corneille’s work into a hilarious masterpiece. “The entire play is filled with rhymes… modern insights and sense of comedy,” Cheatham said. The play maintains its original essence, but Cheatham said it “has something important and timeless to teach us.”

Overall, the play is a lively account of young people chasing after love. “The lying that occurs is only a way to navigate the rocky course of romance,” Cheatham said. “They all seem to hide behind their lies, afraid of what might happen if they are really honest with each other and themselves. Luckily it has a happy ending and we’re reminded that truth is required to ultimately find love.”

“The Liar” will be presented at the Helfaer Theatre from, Feb. 12 through, Feb. 14, at 7:30 p.m., on Feb. 15, at 2:30 p.m., Feb. 18, through Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 22, at 2:30 p.m. The cost of tickets range from $20 for the general public to $10 for Marquette students. All tickets on, Feb. 18 are $6. On Feb. 19, Marquette students can purchase two tickets for $12.