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Weathervane’s ‘Don’t Dress for Dinner’ features ‘excellent’ cast

5/8/2014 - West Side Leader
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By David Ritchey

Starring in Weathervane Playhouse’s “Don’t Dress for Dinner” are, from left, Scott Davis, Richard Worswick, Mitch Manthey, Ashley Bossard, Dede Klein and Bernadette Hisey.
Photo courtesy of Weathervane Playhouse
MERRIMAN VALLEY — “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” which is currently playing at Weathervane Playhouse, is a traditional bedroom farce.

Playwright Marc Camoletti was a French citizen who lived in Switzerland. He’s best known for the comedy “Boeing-Boeing.”

Robin Hawdon adapted “Don’t Dress for Dinner” from French to English. The play ran for seven years in London. However, the show has not made it to Broadway, but has become a favorite of community theaters, such as Weathervane Playhouse.

Keep in mind the course of true love, infidelity and bedroom farce never runs smoothly.

This plot defies retelling, but this is adult humor and adult situations and not for little children, the prudish or those who can’t take a joke.

The story involves six characters: two men, two mistresses, two wives, one cook, a niece and the husband of the cook. That’s right — six characters.

The plot is so convoluted I’m not sure I can explain it to anyone. But, here goes the first attempt. First, Jacqueline (Bernadette Hisey) is scheduled to spend the weekend with her mother. Her husband, Bernard (Richard Worswick), has invited his mistress, Suzanne (Dede Klein), for the weekend. But, his best friend, Robert (Scott Davis), returns from Hong Kong and asks to spend the weekend too. Robert is having an affair with Jacqueline. What a great best friend. So, Jacqueline cancels the visit with her mother to stay at her home with Robert (not her husband).

To make the weekend move more smoothly, Bernard hires a caterer, Suzette (Ashley Bossard), to prepare the Friday evening meal. After the meal, Suzette’s husband, George (Mitch Manthey), stops by to take his wife home.

The plot becomes so difficult that Robert wheels out a blackboard and charts the story up to that point. He delivers these lines at a breakneck pace to the pleasure of the cast and the audience.

The cast is excellent. The regulars — Worswick, Davis and Klein — are at the top of their comic form. The newcomers — Manthey, Hisey and Bossard — bring the expectation of wild anticipation. Or, in the style of this play, they are simply a breath of fresh air.

Costume designer Jasen Smith has handsome costumes for the women and the men. He created a trick costume for Bossard to wear in the second act. Seeing Worswick and Davis get her into that dress is worth the price of admission.

Scenic designer Justyn Jaymes created a set that’s appropriate for the time and place. He and the volunteers built a substantial set that can take the action of a French farce. The set has five doors, and in the tradition of the genre, those doors get slammed a lot.

Director Marc Moritz has done an excellent job with the nonsense of “Don’t Dress for Dinner.” He helped his cast with some of the best, most outrageous physical humor I’ve seen in a long time.

Don’t miss this evening of nonsense. And, don’t rush out after the curtain call. Things get crazier on stage after the lights go down (or up).

“Don’t Dress for Dinner” will run through May 18. For ticket information, call 330-836-2626.


David Ritchey has a Ph.D. in communications and is a professor of communications at The University of Akron. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association.

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