French Farce Onstage in Quogue
“Don’t Dress for Dinner,” Robin Hawdon’s English adaptation of Marc Camoletti’s French farce, will be the final production of the Hampton Theatre Company’s 2017-18 season, opening next Thursday at the Quogue Community Hall and running through June 10.
Camoletti also wrote “Boeing Boeing,” a long-running bedroom farce whose two main characters, Bernard and Robert, return in “Don’t Dress for Dinner.” When his wife, Jacqueline, is scheduled to visit her mother, Bernard invites his mistress, Suzanne, to spend the weekend. He arranges for a private chef to cook for them and invites his friend Robert as an alibi.
However, Robert and Jacqueline are secret lovers and decide to foil Bernard’s plans. When Jacqueline tells Bernard her mother is ill, he panics and tells Robert to tell her “Suzy” is his girlfriend. However, while Bernard and Jacqueline are out, Suzette, the cook, arrives. Robert introduces the second “Suzy” as his girlfriend before the real Suzanne arrives and is forced to play the role of cook.
Suzanne can’t cook, preposterous alibis and explanations follow, as does Suzette’s homicidal husband, and everyone is forced to improvise at breakneck speed. Camoletti’s play ran for two years in Paris in the late 1980s, and Mr. Hawdon’s adaptation had a six-year run in London, where the reviewer for The Guardian wrote, “Hurtling along at the speed of light, Marc Camoletti’s breathtaking farce is a near faultless piece of theatrical invention.”
Directed by George A. Loizides, the cast features veteran actors of the Hampton Theatre Company: Andrew Botsford (Bernard), Rosemary Cline (Jacqueline), Matthew Conlon (Robert), Rebecca Edana (Suzanne), and Amanda Griemsmann (Suzette). Sam Yarabek makes his debut with the company as Suzette’s husband, George. Sean Marbury designed the sets, Sebastian Paczynski the lighting, and Teresa LeBrun the costumes.
Performances will take place Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8, and Sunday afternoons at 2:30, with an additional matinee scheduled for June 9. Tickets are $30, $25 for senior citizens (except Saturdays), $20 for those under 35, and $10 for students under 21.