All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Marin Shakespeare’

Two for One: Petty Theft and Liars

Two only-in-Marin in one day—September 2, 2012.  First stop a free concert at Homestead Valley in Mill  Valley.  We arrived toward the end of the middle band’s set, found a place in the sun and settled in for the final act—a cover band for the Heartbreakers known as Petty Theft.  I was a fan of Hearbreakers radio play from the late 70’s, but listened less and cared less as the decades moved on.  Of course Petty has his enduring fans, but I was not particularly one of them.  I was in Mill Valley to lie in the sun (a perfect day for it), picnic and listen to some live music, so I was happy.

As the show went on, it became impossible for me to lie still.  After a while I was sitting up, then on my feet, then gotta-go-dance.  I was not alone in this.  Petty Theft does a near perfect cover of every Heatrbreakers song that ever got airplay, vocals and arrangement note-for-note, with plenty of room for the guitars to take flight on their own (and every other instrument as well) and singer Dan Durkin to stir the crowd up with when the time comes.  Audience participation?—You bet.  The set ended with a show-stopping “Need to Know” but when the band left the stage without playing “American Girl” we all knew there was an encore if we wanted it.  We got it, and a follow-on “Refugee” that brought down the house.  What a show!

Check out Petty Theft.  As they say themselves, “It’s about the music.”   They’re playing all around the Bay Area through September and beyond.   If you like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, you’ll be glad you did.  Website:

That was just the start of the evening.  We had just enough time between shows to get home and make another picnic—supper this time—and get to Marin Shakespeare’s evening performance of The Liar.  I hadn’t read the playbill and had no idea what to expect for this play, so I was surprised the actors appeared onstage foppishly costumed for 1643 Paris.  The first lines were another novelty when it became clear that the script was written entirely in metered verse approaching iambic pentameter and the quickly developed into farce.  The script was adapted in 2010 by David Ives from the 1643 French comedy by Pierre Corneille.  As Ives said, “to render this luminous world in English. . . .it had to be in verse, just as it is in Corneille.”

We have the standard ingredients of love affairs based mistaken identities, good and evil twins, intentional and unintentional conceits, all compounded by the lofty extravagances that gush from the lips of Darren Bridgett’s Liar.  His servant Clito (Jarion Monroe) is by similar token unable to say a single word that is not the absolute truth, despite detailed instruction:  “Don’t swerve. Be tripping. Poetry. Stay low. Irrelevant details. With verve!”

There is really no way to express in print how absolutely hilarious this play is from one end to the other.  The script is wonderfully absurd, and all in rhyme rhymes but it is these eight marvelous actors taking flight under the freewheeling direction of Robert Currier who make it all seem so, well, believable.  When the whole play is compounded on lies.  It’s something you’ll have to see to believe, and you will not be sorry.  You’ll be thinking and talking about this play for days.   At the Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, Dominican University in San Rafael CA, through September 23, 2012.


Box Office:  (415) 499-4488


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