“I am a married man who has a mistress, and I’m trying to work around that because I’m a player,” said Drew Lewis with a laugh as he described his character, Bernard.
Hapless Bernard is one of the protagonists in “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” a romantic farce written by Marc Camoletti and being staged as the final production of the Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s 2013 season. All the drama begins Friday, Nov. 22, with performances on select Tuesdays through Sundays until Sunday, Dec. 22.
“It all takes place in the house (Bernard) shares with his wife, Jacqueline,” Lewis said. “Jacqueline is going out of town to visit her sick mother, and he has a mistress, Suzanne, because I guess he likes to fool around — he’s a real jokester, that guy. He invites Suzanne over while his wife is out of town and his friend Robert, who is sort of his alibi.”
Jacqueline soon finds out that Robert will be spending some quality time with Bernard in her absence, which could spell disaster because, well, she’s also having an affair — with Robert, Lewis said.
“So she ends up staying and I (Bernard) have to somehow with Robert fix the situation so my wife doesn’t find out that Suzanne is my mistress,” he said. “And then the cook, Suzette, shows up and it all gets crazy from there.”
Previous Lake Dillon Theatre company members Melanie Beck, Missy Moore and Ben Whitmore return for “Don’t Dress for Dinner” in the roles of Suzette, Jacqueline and Robert, respectively. The cast is completed with New York-based performers Eric Folks as George, Amanda Huxtable as Suzanne and, of course, Lewis as Bernard.
There’s farce and there’s farce
The ludicrously improbably situation of a farce can be presented in different ways. For this particular play, it manifests itself in the dialogue.
“What’s kind of different about this one is that it’s kind of a linguistic and logic farce because everyone’s confused all of the time, and there’s a lot of word play and back and forth between characters trying to flesh out the logic in these situations,” Lewis said. “It’s a language driven farce instead of a doors opening and shutting kind of farce.”
“Don’t Dress for Dinner” fits into the Lake Dillon Theatre Company’s mission of bringing something for everyone to the stage over the course of the season.
“It really fills that family comedy, farce,” said Chris Alleman, Lake Dillon Theatre Company producing artistic director, who also directs the production. “We did another play by this same playwright a few years ago, and it has two of the same characters in it. It would be special for our audience to get to revisit those characters, as well.”
The theater company presented “Boeing, Boeing,” another Camoletti comedy, in 2011 to sold-out audiences. Alleman said bringing this work to stage at the end of the season is a good transition to the company’s 20th anniversary season in 2014.
“This time slot at the end of the year is one that the county is very busy with a lot of new families to the area because of the ski resorts, so we always feel this is a good time slot to provide that family fun show,” he said. “It’s not specifically a holiday show, but it has that festive, light-hearted feel that we all want at this time of year.”
Alleman said the play is suitable for all ages, though there is some sexual innuendo, a few skimpy costumes and “maybe one or two bad-ish words, but nothing different from what you’d see on a Wednesday night on TV at 7 p.m.”
“It’s convoluted and confusing in a great way,” Lewis said. “Come watch it all unfold in the cleanest and yet messiest way possible.”
“What’s kind of different about this one is that it’s kind of a linguistic and logic farce because everyone’s confused all of the time, and there’s a lot of word play and back and forth between characters trying to flesh out the logic in these situations,” Lewis said. “It’s a language-driven farce instead of a doors opening and shutting kind of farce.”