With its dynamic staging, crackling pace, and standout performances, More Lies About Jerzy emerges as one of the most impressive productions of the year. The play, based on the bizarre true story of Jerzy Kosinski, examines the conflict between society’s need for heroes and its hunger for truth.
The action begins with lauded writer and Holocaust survivor Jerzy Lesnewsi (Jack Stehlin) riding a wave of adoration in early 1970s Manhattan for his autobiography, “Vantage Point.” The book, which chronicles the author’s boyhood experiences in Nazi occupied Poland, is praised as among the finest in twentieth century literature, earning him wealth, renown, and the attention of film studios. Jerzy’s fortunes turn, however, when his editor alleges plagiarism. A concurrent investigation by a reporter (Adam Stein) uncovers numerous discrepancies in “Vantage Point.” As accounts of his childhood begin to unravel, the enigmatic author clings desperately to his identity and reputation, even while it appears more and more likely that most or all of his memoirs are a total fiction.
In More Lies About Jerzy, we are presented with a tragedy in the classical sense — a scenario in which a protagonist, stubbornly adhering to his course, is driven closer and closer to his downfall by the same mechanisms he employs to free himself. That this hero is an amoral conman, or at the very least a pathological liar, detracts in no way from the dread inevitability we feel as each of his lies is compounded by a fresh one, and the noose continues to tighten. Highly recommended.
More Lies About Jerzy
The Hayworth Theater
2511 Wilshire Blvd
Opened May 15; plays Fri.-Sat.,
8 p.m. until June 26