The Book: Marc Camoletti, DON'T DRESS FOR DINNER. Adapted by Robin Hawdon from the French, originally titled PYJAMAS POUR SIX. Samuel French Ltd., paperback performance script, 1992. Good condition; script is badly creased, heavily marked, highlighted by owner, who apparently played the role of Jacqueline, Bernard's wife.
First read: 2006
Owned since: 2008
I'll get back to the Irish theme tomorrow, but decided it was time for a little blatant self-promotion. I am part of the ensemble cast of this play, which opens tonight at Gaslight Theater in Hallowell. Tonight's performance starts at 7:30; tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and you can make your reservations at 207-626-3698. If you can't make tonight's performance, the show runs tomorrow, Saturday, and next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Don't Dress for Dinner is a farce about a naughty weekend that goes wrong in every possible way. Bernard and Josephine are at their country house for the weekend, but as the play begins, Josephine is on her way to visit her mother. Before she leaves, she discovers that their best man, Robert, is coming to share Bernard's bachelor weekend; what Bernard doesn't know is that Robert and Jacqueline are actually having an affair.
So Jacqueline cancels her plans to visit her mother, but what she doesn't know is that Bernard had invited his own mistress, Suzanne, to spend the weekend while Jacqueline was away. He's also hired a cook to prepare a special dinner for him, Robert and his girlfriend; the cook's name is Suzette. Suzette arrives as Robert is alone in the house, expecting to meet Suzanne, and wackiness ensues.
It's very silly, and I hope it's very funny. I have not been onstage in a real play since 1997, when I had a supporting role in JeRM Productions' All I Could See, by Nancy Nilsson. That was a drama, though I was supposed to provide a little comic relief, and even sang a little (less said about that, the better). At least in this role, I'm supposed to be ridiculous.
If I lived in a bigger town, I probably wouldn't have the opportunity to play this part; but the flip side of that is that most of my friends and family live too far away to come see this play. I'm grateful to the friends who do plan to come tonight, and most of all to Chris, who's coming up for Easter weekend. This play is likely to embarrass him terribly, but isn't embarrassing one's children a parental duty?