Stacy Miller, the Manger of EntryPoint, recently sat down with Pierce McManus, the co-host of Perfect Liars Club, to discuss how the show got started and the upcoming show with EntryPoint DC. Mark your calendars for Confessions: A Storytelling Interrogation Show, an evening where you won’t have to ask for forgiveness for lying this Yom Kippur.
Stacy Miller: As the orchestrator of Perfect Liars Club, what is the concept of the show (how does it work?) and how did you come up with the idea?
Pierce McManus: Perfect Liars Club was created in 2013 by Scottish storyteller Layla McCay. The show has a simple but hilarious premise: Four people tell four stories. All are captivating but only three are true. Listen. Laugh. Suspect. Interrogate. Vote. Can you spot the liar? The stories are hilarious – but the interrogation is even better: you never know what questions will be asked or what evidence the audience might demand of the four storytelling suspects in their determined quest to spot the liar.
The idea for Perfect Liars Club was born when Layla and her wife Roz relocated to Washington, D.C. and decided to combine their desire to contribute to the Washington, D.C.’s growing storytelling scene with their nostalgia for the old game of Spot the Liar. In July 2015, Layla and Roz announced they were relocating from Washington. Rather than shutter their popular show, they handed over the reins to renowned fixtures of the D.C. storytelling scene Cara Foran and myself.
Stacy: What is one of the funniest stories you have heard so far?
Pierce: One story? It’s impossible to choose just one story. Since the show started, we’ve heard hundreds of hilarious and unbelievable tales — a quarter of which were completely made up. Some personal favorites from our recent Capital Fringe 2016 run included a storyteller’s tale of an amorous experience at a Biggest Loser wrap party, another involved an awkward chance encounter with Dick Cheney in a cramped elevator, another recounted the time a New York City tour guide lost his tour bus — while it was still running and full of tourists, and another detailed a storyteller’s attempts to join a suburban “mommy-group” only to discover that two of the mommies were having their own adult “playdates.” Wondering who the liar in the bunch was? If you chose the NYC tour guide, you are correct!
Stacy: Does the audience always pick the liar?
Pierce: Always? Hardly. Rarely is more like it. You would think that a town like Washington, D.C. — a town that is teeming with Type A know-it-all smartypants types — would fare better than the current 20% success rate. Try harder, citizens of Washington. We know how much you love to be right.
Stacy: Where is the coolest place you have hosted a Perfect Liars Club Show?
Pierce: Hands down the coolest place that we’ve hosted Perfect Liars Club was the basement of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Gallery Place. That space doubled as a venue for our recent Capital Fringe 2016 run and we quickly discovered that librarians really love to crank the air conditioning. Seriously. If you ever go, don’t forget to pack a sweater. Brrrr. Other cool favorites include the comfortably intimate and always raucous Bier Baron Tavern, which plays host to our monthly show on the first Wednesday night of every month, and the sadly-no-longer-with-us Science Club, which offered Perfect Liars Club a great place since its start back in 2013. Always eager to check out new venues and new crowds, we’re super excited to bring Perfect Liars Club to Buckeye + Bear on September 29th for this special show with EntryPointDC.
Stacy: You are hosting a show with EntryPointDC next Thursday, September 29. Does this show have a theme? Will the show be funny?
Pierce: We’re very excited to collaborate with EntryPointDC on this “first-of-a-kind” show for Perfect Liars Club. While the format remains the same, we’re incorporating the Yom Kippur themes of confession and atonement into the night’s stories. Each storyteller will disclose something unsavory about themselves or their past that they’ve kept secret up until now. In return, each hopes that their public admittance of guilt will yield forgiveness. But as is the case with all our shows, somebody is lying. And that’s where the audience comes in. Will they spot the liar? Probably not. Will the show be funny? You can count on it. And that’s no lie.
Check out the next Perfect Liars Club show, Confessions: A Storytelling Interrogation Show, Thursday, September 29 at Buckeye & Bear with EntryPointDC, the 20s and 30s program of the Edlavitch DCJCC. Tickets, $10 (40% off regular priced tickets): http://bit.ly/confessions-show