If you’re looking for a unique experience filled with comic relief, then perhaps the next Liar Liar Show is for you. The show’s producer, Sasha Manoli, describes the Liar Liar Show as “a comedic storytelling game show,” where the audience votes on which comic is the best at the Art of Lying.
On May 17, 2012, I was fortunate enough to be among the crowd at Theatre St. Catherine who got to partake in this live comedy game show. The host, Chris Betts, started off the night like any regular game show by introducing the audience to the rules and itinerary. Betts explained that in each of the three rounds, the audience would hear three different stories from three comics and it was up to audience to guess which comic was lying.
The first, and probably most memorable of the night, Asaf Gerchak, started all three of his stories with the same opening line: “When I was kid I went to a Jewish Socialist Summer Camp.” Using that line as his template, Gerchak then fed the audience details of his past at a pace that made it nearly impossible to make any assumptions on his aptitude to lie. Gerchak described the events from his life so passionately that I oftentimes missed what the story was about because I hadn’t calmed down from the hilarity of it all.
Matt Goldberg, another of the comics that performed, told the audience stories about his adolescent experiences with cars, women, and alcohol. Whether it was the new car that he kept destroying, or the girlfriend he could never lose his virginity to, Goldberg sold me on a charm that didn’t necessarily leave me rolling on the floor laughing, but had me smiling from ear to ear. Perhaps the funniest analogy to Goldberg’s style of storytelling was said by the night’s host who poked fun at the way Goldberg constantly ended his stories with a surprise/twist ending.
“M. Night Shyamalan must have directed your life,” Betts said, a line that was beautifully delivered and completely unrehearsed.
The third comic of the night, Alain Mercieca, is a self proclaimed “punk” whose idea of being a punk goes beyond the clothes he wears. From watching his friend’s foot get mauled by a train, to drunkenly soiling himself at prom, Mercieca’s stories left me feeling like this guy’s life had been anything but monotonous, regardless of how true they were.
While the crowd was intimate and the production value was low, the show had a lot of heart. It’s not often you get to participate in a game show and leave satisfactorily entertained.
When I asked the show’s producer, Sasha Manoli, what was her inspiration for this show, and how she found her performers, Manoli said, “I came up with the concept when [I was] asked to develop a comedy show for a club called Le Belmont. I wanted to produce something other than a traditional stand-up or open-mic event.”
“I am selective about my storytellers,” added Manoli. “I mainly employ comedians as I like the show to remain in the comedy genre. Having said this, I have slowly been integrating different types of performers such as improvisers. I try to be very conscious of the chemistry of my performers for each show.”
Manoli’s production company, In Theory Productions, is currently producing several other shows as well, and is working out the details for the next Liar Liar Show.