Theatre Mirror Reviews"The Underpants"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |



"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2012 by Tony Annicone

"The Underpants"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

The last show of Attleboro Community Theatre's season is "The Underpants", a farce by Carl Sternheim and adapted by Steve Martin. The show takes place in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1910 and begins when the young and beautiful wife of an uptight bureaucrat drops her bloomers during a parade for the king. Louise is a pretty and naive house wife whose frilly pantaloons accidentally fall while watching the parade. Suddenly, the room she and her husband want to rent becomes the most sought after place in town by men who saw the whole "accident" go down. A foppish poet and a nebbish barber, both entranced by a glimpse of her underwear, vie to become Louise's lover. Her new found fame terrifies her husband, thrills her busybody neighbor and brings a grumpy old man who spouts obscenities as well as a surprise suitor, too. The wild and crazy antics of these 7 performers will keep you entertained all night long under the direction of David Blessinger.

David makes sure all the Steve Martin double entendres and sexual innuendoes hit pay dirt in this farce. He gives his cast many clever bits of shtick to perform, too. David, Kevin Boisse and Tammy England designed a magnificent early 1900's set that is so realistic that you feel as if you can move in and live there. This marvelous cast delivers them with a fast pace needed to keep the audience in stitches. Jennifer White plays Louise, the dimwitted wife. She is funny with her interactions with her overbearing husband, two potential suitors and with her hot to trot female neighbor, too. Ben Cornish is fabulous as Theo Maske, the pompous chauvinistic husband who hasn't been satisfying his wife in bed because he doesn't have enough money to support a child. His bombastic delivery and proclamations of how things ought to be run in a German household are fantastic. His funniest scene is when he appears in his underwear to have his way with Gertrude grabbing her boobs while his funniest line is about Gertrude when he says "Rivers still flow from rusty pipes". This line left the audience laughing loudly. He also says a line that a man pisses against a wall.

Kim Olson Hraba plays Gertrude, the busybody, whorish upstairs neighbor who wants to live through Louise's sexual escapades. She has some of the best lines in the show and makes all of her comic lines soar with their sexual innuendoes and smuttiness. Kim's funniest scene is when she talks about balls of blue and a unicorn, displaying the sexy underpants for Louise, with Theo getting turned on by her by grabbing her boobs and proclaims "My little girl is all grown up. Kim is wonderful and garners many laughs in this role. Jason Arundale plays Cohen, the barber who is also a hypochondriac. He is excellent in this role, adding many layers to this character. Cohen tells Theo that his last name is spelt with a K because Theo is a bigot. Cohen has every known disease to mankind and when he says a doctor prescribed new pills for him called placebos which wins many laughs. Jason's pratfalls are priceless as are his feeling Theo's muscles, kissing Louise and fainting, his wearing of a yarmulke and having a dreidel in his pocket. The only reason Cohen is there is to stop Versati from sleeping with Louise. This is one of Jason's best roles to date.The foppish Italian poet, Frank Versati is wonderfully played by Frank Wilmoth. He delivers comic poetic lines to Louise while trying to woo her. His first scene with Louise is a hoot where he exclaims his vein is stiff. This happen as he pull her down onto the rug. Another funny scene is when he measures Louise's inseam by sticking his head up her skirt. When Versati is turned on by Louise, he runs into his room to write poetry instead of making love to her. Paul Dean plays the mean old man, Klinglehoff who demands privacy in his rented room. Thinking he saw her at the parade, Louise lifts her dress to show off her underpants then latter proclaims that he is having delusions and spouts a funny obscenity at the end of the show. Jim Harvey make a surprise appearance near the end of the show and wins many laughs in his underwear. This scene has to be seen to be believed. David has all his cast appear in their underpants for curtain which brings the house down. So for a very funny farce, be sure to catch "The Underpants" in Attleboro. Tell them Tony sent you.

"The underpants" (4 - 20 May)
ATTLEBORO COMMUNITY THEATRE
@ North Main Street, ATTLEBORO MA
1(508)226-8100

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |