Review: The Terrible False Deception

“This is a very real moment for me,” Matt Buckman informs his audience, his face twisted into a melodramatic pout. An upbeat exploration of the possibilities of theatre, the KTS production of The Terrible False Deception characterizes the expression “short and sweet”.
The Terrible False Deception, by Rafe MacPherson, cleverly showcases the versatility of theatre. In each of the four acts, the same actors in the same costumes repeat the same blocking while expressing the same emotions, but manage to tell a zealously different story, each one as zany and unpredictable as the last. The wide range of characters appearing over the course of the show, from self-righteous actors to Southwestern drag queens, poses a challenge to the four-person cast and endless entertainment for audience members.
Anchored by the flamboyance of its cast, the KTS rendition is forty minutes of hilarity (not including laugh time) that leaves its audience exhilarated.
Alexandra Eaton, in the role of Woman #2, delivered the opening lines of each act with consistent comedic capability – whether serious, scheming or just plain horny. Andrea Benson, as Woman #1, floated gracefully about the stage, exuding an over-dramatic femininity well-suited to each character she portrayed. The farcical facial expressions and youthful angst of Matt Buckman’s Man #1 aroused uproarious laughter and John Last, as Man #2, was amusingly pompous, delivering lines and executing blocking with appropriate grandeur.
The cast exhibited a dynamic chemistry, interacting animatedly with one another. Actors occasionally stumbled over their Russian and Southern accents, but on a level that hardly distracted from the overall quality of the performance.
Director Addy Shoichet is to be commended for the versatility of the show’s blocking – it was impressively flexible, making sense in each of the four different situations presented. The elegant set provided a believable backdrop for each storyline, and meshed well with a set of mid-1900s costumes. The floor-length yellow dress worn by Andrea Benson seemed out of place in terms of the time frame suggested by other actors’ costumes, but suited her flirtatious and fanciful characters. The sound and lighting, courtesy of technical director Jake Eidinger, were simplistic and well-executed.
The versatile cast and crew of The Terrible False Deception offer their audience a glimpse of a whimsical, melodramatic and hilarious world of theatre. The production’s run continues through March 30 and 31, and is undoubtedly a worthwhile use of 40 minutes.

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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