The Granite Theatre's second show of their tenth season is "The Ladies Man" by Charles Morey. It is a loose adaptation Georges Feydeau's bedroom farce " Tailleur Pour Dames", a story of a Parisian Doctor Molineaux wrongly suspected of infidelity by his much younger wife. He is impotent because he giggles every time she calls him tigre, but Yvonne thinks his lack of performance in the bedroom must be due to his philandering. The doctor, recently married to his beautiful young wife can't admit his problem and lies about it, arousing her suspicions even further. The problem is exacerbated by madcap characters completely uninterested in anything except their own selfish maneuverings including an outrageously aggressive female patient, her violently jealous Prussian hubby, a harridan of a mother-in-law, a well-intentioned friend with a lisping problem, an officious valet and a sexy, saucy maid with a secret. This farce relies on misunderstandings, insinuations, impending infidelity to weave its comic web as well as a dose of mistaken identities, wacky situations and sexual innuendos and more door slamming doors than realistic architecture should ever accommodate. Director Arthur Pignataro takes the audience on a merry chase with his 8 wild and crazy performers.
This show is a laugh riot from start to finish with Arthur supplying his performers with clever bits of business and shtick to tickle your funny bone. David Jepson built a gorgeous set with the necessary five doors for a farce. Arthur's hard working stage manager, Ann Gestrich keeps things moving smoothly all night long especially impressive is the scene change in Act 2 from the dress maker's back to the doctor's office. (Her 11 year old son, Bobby is up for the role of Billy Elliot in the National Tour. I reviewed him as Tiny Tim in Christmas Carol and he is extremely talented.) Broad slapstick lunacy is wonderful in this show which is performed with French accents. The hapless doctor is well played by David LaRocque. He has many tongue twisting lines which he delivers with ease especially the long convoluted explanation of things in the last scene.. His suspicious wife, Yvonne is played by pretty blonde, Aleandra Wittenski who started acting at the beginning of 2009. She plays the naive young girl who finally tells her mother off in a scene which shocks the audience. Mme Suzanne Aubin is a designing woman who lusts after the doctor. Veronica Strickland is very comical as this constantly horny woman. Her skirt gets torn off in the chase scene, revealing a leopard skirt. Greg Bliven is a hoot as the mad Prussian, Gustav, the wronged husband who mangles English with a delightful German accent. He is constantly beating the men up and threatening to duel them with his sword.
The absence one night of her husband causes Yvonne to believe he is cheating on her and she summons her mother, Madame Aigreville to straighten her husband out. She is a formidable opponent for him.( The play on the French names in this farce with her name meaning argumentative and another funny name is Madame Faux Pas.) He refers to her as Medusa during the show and enters with a huge feathered hat which resembles snakes. Lee Rush is dynamite as this crazed harridan. She commands the stage in all her scenes and at one point tells the doctor all intercourse must come between her to her daughter which is hilarious as a double entendre with her winking at the audience. One of her funniest moments comes as she is being fitted for a riding outfit at her dressmakers. The tape measure scene is hilarious as the whole cast runs in and out of the doors constantly.The pesky patient, Bassinet is wonderfully played by Todd Alan Little whose lisping is hysterical. He can barely finish a line before the audience bursts into gales of laughter. Bassinet keeps wanting to reveal a secret about the dressmaker. Another strong performance is given by John Payne as Etienne, the valet. His French accent is perfect and one of his funniest moments is when his trousers are ripped off revealing his underwear. He also gets whipped in the scene. The sexy French maid, Marie who keeps avoiding Etienne's advances is well played by Caitlin Robert. Let's just say this show has to be seen to be believed. I don't want to say anymore to spoil the fun for the audience. So for a phenomenal farce, be sure to catch "The Ladies Man" at Granite Theatre. You won't stop laughing all night long.