By Susan Wallner
State of the Arts
Marlo Thomas will be on NBC’s Today show the entire week of Thanksgiving hosting a special fundraiser for St. Jude called Thanks and Giving. That’s just after her first week in a brand new play, Clever Little Lies, opening Nov. 22 at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick. When asked about her full plate, the actress responds, “I just think of myself as someone who’s very curious and thinks, oh, I could do that; that would be fun to do!”
In Clever Little Lies, Thomas plays the role of Alice, who’s married to Bill, played by Gregg Mullavey of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman fame. Their son (Jim Stanek) and daughter-in-law (Kate Wetherhead) are having relationship troubles and Alice decides to get involved.
“She wants to take care of everyone and she does,” says Thomas of her character. “I love women who are resourceful, who aren’t frightened to get out there and make something happen. And Alice is definitely somebody who makes things happen.”
Marlo Thomas will be featured in a new “State of the Arts” story airing in December. See a preview here.
Clever Little Lies is written by Tony Award-winner, and New Jersey native, Joe DiPietro. DiPietro is best known for writing books and lyrics for musicals; he won two Tonys for Memphis and a Drama Desk Award for Nice Work if You Can Get It. It’s his third time premiering a new work at the George Street Playhouse. He’s done a musical about the environment, Toxic Avenger, a drama about creationism, Creating Claire, and now a comedy/drama about marriage and commitment, Clever Little Lies.
“George Street is really like an artistic home for me, for which I’m forever grateful,” says DiPietro. “And it’s an artistic home for a lot of other writers and artists and directors which is just invaluable.”Thomas also has a history with the George Street Playhouse. She appeared there first in her friend Elaine May’s play Roger is Dead, followed by Arthur Laurents’ New Year’s Eve. In fact, artistic director David Saint already had the actress in mind when he invited DiPietro to premiere his new play at the George Street Playhouse. The mix of drama and comedy in Clever Little Lies was a perfect fit.
“Marlo is obviously a top, top, topnotch comedienne,” says DiPietro. “She knows her way around a line, around a joke, but she’s also an incredibly honest actress. She’s really funny and she’s really human, and ultimately she’s incredibly moving in the show.”
Clever Little Lies opens Friday, Nov. 22 at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick. The cast takes a break during the week of Thanksgiving while Marlo Thomas is on the Today show. Then Clever Little Lies resumes performances Saturday, Nov. 30, running through Dec. 22. For tickets, visit GeorgeStreetPlayhouse.org.