When it comes to whipping up comic delights, there’s nothing quite like a delicious French farce.
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Take one lovely home in the French countryside. Add a philandering husband, his gorgeous mistress and a Cordon Bleu chef hired for a romantic weekend getaway. Add the husband’s wife and the couple’s best friend who have a few secrets of their own. Fold together with some mix ups and mishaps and then turn up the heat. The result? Pure delight — Sierra Repertory Theater’s tasty comedic treat “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” is at the Fallon House stage through Sept.29.
The two-act play was written by French playwright Marc Camoletti, as a sequel of sorts to his smash hit “Boeing Boeing.”
“Don’t Dress for Dinner” was a long-running smash in Paris and London in the early 1990s and is enjoying renewed popularity after a successful Broadway production last year that garnered two Tony Award nominations.
Guest Director Peter DeBono has all the ingredients for all-out fun — a great cast, exceptional design team and SRT audiences who love to laugh.
DeBono, newly retired as chair of the theater department at Monterey Peninsula College, considers this a well-crafted piece that will be fun for the cast and the audience.
“Like every good farce, it starts out with one lie — then two more have to be told to cover it up, and two more after that,” DeBono said. “This show especially gives you lots of physical bits and a great playing field. This is perfect for summer, especially in Columbia.”
Getting a team of actors who have the comic instincts and split-second timing to pull it off is the key to success, DeBono said, and he’s excited to work with a great cast.
“The individual actors have incredible comic timing skills,” he said, “and we’re all looking forward to blending them together.”
SRT favorites Clayton Hodges and Louis Lotorto will team up as husband Bernard and his best friend Robert. Hodges played Bernard in SRT’s hit production of “Boeing Boeing,” Lotorto had audiences cracking up in “The Ladies Man,” “Rough Crossing” and “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” and the two appeared as romantic rivals in SRT’s “The Rainmaker.”
Hodges is enjoying the chance to update his mischievous character from “Boeing Boeing.”
“It’s amazing,” he said with a grin. “Bernard has three new women to cheat on. Really though, it’s wonderful to be back and it’s so much fun. The show isn’t a sequel exactly but these are the same characters getting into more trouble.”
Playing opposite the fellows are SRT newcomers Emily Brooks as the mistress, Suzanne, Kathleen DeSilva as the wife, Jacqueline, and Eva Swan as the chef, Suzette. Rounding out the nutty action is Nick Waaland as the chef’s husband, George.
Guest artist Austin Rausch is the costume designer and scenic design is by guest artist Randall A. Enlow. Props are by SRT’s Mercy Sharpe, lighting is by SRT’s Peter Leibold and the stage manager is Doug Brennan.
SRT’s production of “Don’t Dress for Dinner” is presented with the help of Silver Sponsor Golden State Cellular and 2013 Season Sponsor Clarke Broadcasting.
“Don’t Dress for Dinner” runs through Sept. 29 at the Fallon House Theatre in Columbia State Historic Park. Thursday and Friday performances begin at 7 p.m., Saturday evening shows begin at 8 and Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinées begin at 2 p.m.
General admission ranges from $26 to $32 depending on the day of the performance. The show is rated PG, suitable for ages 12 and up.
For more information or reservations call Sierra Rep’s box office at 209-532-3120 or visit Sierra Rep at sierrarep.org.