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PGC Blog
A comedy with a savage bite at the Lantern Theater Company

Ralph Malachowski

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posted by Ralph Malachowski on Jun 1, 2018 10:30am | comments

   


Dont Dress for Dinner is now at the Lantern Theater Company, St. Stephens Theater, 10th and Ludlow Streets, in Philadelphia. Beginning in 1987 as the play Pyjamas Pour Six by French farceur Marc Camoletti, it was then translated and rewritten in 1991 by Robin Hawdon, and retitled Dont Dress for Dinner. It enjoyed a long run on the London stage.



Dont Dress for Dinners plot centers about the secrets and lies told to and by six characters in an upscale home in the Parisian countryside during the course of one evening. The cast includes Bernard (an Englishman stylishly played by William Zielinski), Jacqueline (Bernards wife, played in the grand British manner by Karen Peakes), Robert (Bernards best friend and Jacquelines lover wonderfully played by the tall, dark, and handsome Marc LeVasseur), Suzette (The chef hired to cook that evening who - for money she periodically extorts from Bernard and Robert - plays mistress, niece, and guest, is played with a comical French accent by Lee Minora), Suzette (Bernards mistress and socialite played by the delightfully witty Jessica Bedord), and George (the surprise visitor at the end of the play played with comic flair by Chris Anthony).



This new production of Dont Dress for Dinner is a crisp affair, which many will find very similar in tone with Michael Frayns 1982 play Noises Off, with a soupcon of Beaumarchais classic The Marriage of Figaro. There are farcical elements galore in Dont Dress for Dinner: mistaken identities; each character telling lies which require even more elaborate lies; seltzer water sprays, food and drink landing askew upon people, etc. At one point, there is a passionate tango between Robert and Suzette. Suzettes wily playing of one character against another for ever-increasing stakes she extorts from employer Bernard and upper-class Robert is reminiscent of the plucky servants in Beaumarchais scathing indictment of class, The Marriage of Figaro (better known today as the masterpiece by Mozart).



The intimate space is close to perfection. The entire design team is in top form. Special mention is deserved by Alison Roberts, whose pajama and robe designs for both Bernard and Robert were outstanding. The already sexy Marc LeVasseur became irresistibly hot in his dark gray silk pajamas.



Although somewhat repetitious as the night wore on, Dont Dress for Dinner had many bright moments where the audience heartily laughed out loud. More than ever, we all can use a bit more comedy. For a change of pace, and an entertaining few hours in the theater, Dont Dress for Dinner is a winning choice.



Dont Dress for Dinner will be on the St. Stephens Theater stage until June 24th.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit www.lanterntheater.org


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