Comedy rules in Don’t Dress for Dinner at Upper Canada Playhouse

MORRISBURG – Audiences are in for a rollicking, comic time as Upper Canada Playhouse stages its second show of the 2019 season, Marc Camoletti/Robin Hawdon’s classic farce, Don’t Dress for Dinner.

The golden rule of farce is that absolutely nothing will go as planned when it comes to plots and stratagems. That will definitely be the case with Hawdon’s Don’t Dress for Dinner.

Romantic complications, “embarrassing, risky predicaments and cover-ups,” and definite high-jinks form the plot. Colourful characters are ultimately forced to “try to wriggle out of the mess they have created.”

Along the way, the audience has the fun of sharing the hilarity of their predicaments and their ‘desperate’ confusion.

“It’s high stakes for (the characters),” said director Donnie Bowes, “And high comedy for the audience. It’s like watching a ticking time bomb go off.”

Hawdon’s classic comedy, in the style of his earlier Playhouse hit, Boeing Boeing, re-introduces perpetual womanizer Bernard and the staid American Robert, old college friends, who will become embroiled in yet “another fine mess.”

Bernard is busily setting up intrigues with his mistress, while his wife is out of town. He even hires a cook to prepare a special meal for them but invites Robert along “as an alibi” should wife Jacqueline ever ask. The setting for a lovely, intimate evening is all planned and organized. What could possibly go wrong?

Everything, naturally.

Director Bowes has put together a dynamite cast for Don’t Dress for Dinner. The six actors have years of experience handling the physical and comedic demands of this fast-paced, high-energy show. Several have performed at the Playhouse before.

Garfield Andrews is Bernard, who sets this comic roller-coaster in action. Andrews is well-known to audiences from Playhouse productions of The Amourous Ambassador and The Odd Couple.

Joining him as Robert is Perry Mucci who delighted audiences in The Sensuous Senator and Whose Wives Are They Anyway?

Returning to UCP in the role of Suzette the cook is AnnaMarie Lea, a favourite from last season’s The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McAuley Fishing Derby as well as many other productions.

Playing the suspicious (with cause) wife Jacqueline, is Anita La Selva, who has been seen in several Playhouse comedies including Caught in the Net and It Runs in the Family.

Stephanie Folkins, who was last on stage at the Playhouse in the hit, Boeing Boeing, is the mistress Suzanne, while veteran actor Mark Burgess, making his Playhouse debut, plays Suzette’s husband George.

With such a strong cast, the audience can sit back and enjoy two hours of outrageous comedy.

Don’t Dress For Dinner features a set designed by Jim Smagata with costumes by Alex Amini.

“We have been having a lot of fun rehearsing this hilarious show,” said director Donnie Bowes.

“We can’t wait to open the doors and share the laughter with our audience.”

Since you’re here…

… Thanks for reading this article. Local news is important. We hope that you continue to support local news by reading The Leader, online and in print. Please consider subscribing to the print edition of the newspaper. Click here to subscribe today.