For a guy who wants to seduce his audience, Red Bastard (Eric Davis) spends an awful lot of time talking down to them.

Davis uses Lie with Me as a soapbox to promote polyamory. The opening and closing sequences are engaging, but there’s long, boring middle.

Off the top, Davis proves, handily, that everybody in the audience is a liar. He gets you to stand up, then he lists a bunch of lies and you sit down if you’ve told them. It’s provocative and it’s fun.

Then, for the body of the show, Davis makes the repetitive point that we all lie in love because the norm of monogamy forces us to—and because we like to exploit the loopholes. It’s a lecture disguised as a performance and the performance isn’t even thorough. Red Bastard is a grotesque clown but that grotesquerie is superficial and inconsistent.

In the closing moments, Red Bastard goes on a kind of date with an audience member. Davis gives up some of his control and a real story with real stakes starts to emerge—finally.

At Performance Works on September 8 (5:45 p.m.), 11 (8:35 p.m.), 12 (5 p.m.), 14 (8:25 p.m.), 15 (1 p.m.), and 16 (7:20 p.m.) Tickets > Colin Thomas (This review is based on a performance at the Victoria Fringe.)


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