Fall Play Review: The Liar
By Sydney Brown and Isabel Terrett
The fall play and the spring musical put on by the Apex Peak Players are one of our favorite parts about going to Apex High School. When the pandemic hit, many students missed out on watching these performances in person. Luckily, with the return of in-person schooling came the return of the two things we always looked forward to. On October 14, 15, and 16 the Apex Peak Players put on a production of The Liar by Pierre Corneille.
Thursday’s Performance – Sydney’s Review
Thursday, October 14 marked the beginning of performances with the “Liar Liar Cast” . The first thing I noticed when watching the play was the chemistry between the cast members. Their energy played well off of each other and was sustained throughout the entire show. This contributed towards the fast pace of the play and the delivery of the jokes: everything seemed to hit exactly when they were supposed to and continuously engaged the audience.
The audience was also invested in the play because of the interactions scattered throughout. Flowers being thrown into the audience and characters (Joey Klieman as Cliton) crawling through the chairs made the audience a part of the play, even if for a moment. The play was also conducted in the style of theatre in the round, meaning the cast was surrounded on all sides by the audience. This brought the audience closer to the actors and made me feel closer to the events of the play.
One of the biggest changes that came with the pandemic was having to wear masks; however, the cast was able to overcome this challenge. The actors projected their voices through their masks and enunciated clearly enough so that the audience was able to understand and hear everything they were saying. I was also incredibly impressed with how big their facial expressions were: even through a mask and being seated a little ways away I was still able to tell what emotion they were portraying.
Of course, the play wouldn’t be as successful without the help of the crew. They moved quickly and efficiently between scenes to swap out props and the little interaction they had with the cast only added to the humorous nature of the play. The background music (though played briefly) cut in and out at just the right moments and wasn’t too loud over the dialogue.
This play was exactly what was needed to herald the return of live theatre to Apex High School. The play itself was fitting for high school students, with the occasional suggestive joke or language scattered throughout without being terribly overt. Each of the characters in the Liar Liar cast were well casted, with everyone being dedicated to their role. The play was kept at a fast tempo which helped with the landing of jokes and keeping up with the changing nature of the characters’ relationships. Overall, the Apex Peak Players delivered yet another outstanding performance and I cannot wait to see what they bring in the spring.
Friday’s Performance – Isabel’s Review
Friday’s Night Performance consisted of the “Pants on Fire Cast”, who left an incredible impression on what audience members can expect from Apex Peak Players’ future productions.
First of all, I thought it was incredibly impressive that the actors were able to portray their characters through their masks – despite having their faces covered, they were able to create easily distinguishable facial expressions and projected to where the audience was able to understand what they were saying.
I personally enjoyed how unique the characters were portrayed, with each individual personality adding their own spin to the show. The actors did a phenomenal job playing into their roles, accentuating certain aspects of their own characters and implementing it into the way they interacted with each other. Their exchanges with each other created a very humorous atmosphere, and I found myself laughing out loud at their shenanigans alongside many others in the audience. The characters were obviously exaggerated and playful in behavior but not in an obnoxious way, truly drawing the audience into the performance and making it feel that we were in Paris, 1644 for the night.
It’s obvious that throughout the performance the actors were having enormous fun playing their characters. Their energy never faltered through the hour and a half they performed and the intensity of the show built up all the way up until the end of the show, especially during the climax at the end of Act II.
Another thing I loved about the performance was the way the atmosphere was established. The lighting, the seating, and the props all added to the mood of the show and made it feel like a professional performance. The actors even interacted with the audience, not only by breaking the fourth wall once or twice, but by going as far as crawling through in between seats (Joey Klieman playing as Cliton) and forcing audience members to move from their seats so the actor could sit in their place for a minute (Preston Smith playing as Dorante).
Another thing I wanted to appreciate was the cast and crew abilities to improvise and adapt to mishaps that happen while performing- especially when a minor costume malfunction occurs. While performing, a bag slung over Preston’s shoulder either snapped or frayed to the point of slipping off of him in the middle of a scene. The actors were able to carry on through the scene and even acknowledged the accident while in character, almost making me believe it may have been in the script after all. Later on, I saw that they had fixed the bag and the show went on without a hitch.
Overall, I thought the performance was of high quality and very impressive considering all of the hardships and adaptations the cast and crew have endured throughout the creation of The Liar.
All the pictures in this article were taken by Mike Krogh (www.onefinephoto.com).