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THE AWFUL TRUTH Andrews Theatre/Irish Classical Theatre Company
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Apr 26, 2018, 12:02
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Through May 13
THE AWFUL TRUTH Andrews Theatre/Irish Classical Theatre Company

A century ago, when Arthur Richman set “The Awful Truth,” social media was gossip, whispering in the halls, the talk among “the ladies who lunch,” the quick conversations in the golf course locker room.
There were no Facebook conversations.
The heart of the script is gossip, the gossip about Lucy Warriner (Diane Curley).
She’s about to remarry at a time when that was frowned upon, after one of those Reno divorces from Norman Satterly (Adriano Gatto).
The prospective new husband is wealthy Oklahoma oil man Daniel Leeson (Eric Rawski).
He’s in love with his skill in the oil business and the vast wealth he has accumulated and needs a highly-polished wife to go with the oil barrels.
This is all endless fodder for the rumor mills of upper crust Manhatttan, especially Dan’s aunt Mrs. Leeson (Ellen Horst), who doesn’t approve of Lucy and the whispers about her marital situation and her divorce.
The New Yorkers in the play are formally dressed and snobs about the Leesons and anxious to gossip about Lucy and Dan’s aunt hears it and believes it.
Basically, the whispers are that Lucy fooled around and Norman is repeatedly asked to say that isn’t why the marriage fell apart.
The person who really knew, Rufus Kepster (Chris Kelly) can’t say because he’s a banker in China and hasn’t been back in New York in years.
It’s pretty clear Lucy did everything Mrs. Leeson suspects and everyone knows it.
The twists and turns in the plot are Lucy trying to get everyone to lie about what happened, even Norman, who’s still in love with his ex-wife.
Because director Fortunato Pezzimenti’s cast is so good and his direction so tight, the plot is funny and works well, even in an age when almost everything essential to the plot is reversed.
I can imagine what playwright Richman would do with a character based on President Trump and his personal and married life.
The script requires some strong acting, Rawski’s Leeson, the blowhard oil man fit for a political campaign, the pleasure-seeking and fiscally imprudent Lucy, the mean aunt and the besotted Norman who just can’t get away from his ex.
This is life and love among the One-Percent and how they are so similar and so different from the rest of us.
This is not the story in the movie of the same name which made Cary Grant a star, although it’s called “The Awful Truth” and carries a credit for Richman, also life among the wealthy.
This stage production is worth seeing for the story and some really fine acting.

A.W.

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