Little Theatre of Alexandria The UnderpantsBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jun 13th, 2008 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Little Theatre of Alexandria’s The Underpants [MP3 5:10 2.4MB].
Little Theatre of Alexandria
Little Theatre of Alexandria, Alexandria, VA
$14 to $17
Through June 28th
Mike: The Underpants is a play written by Carl Sternheim, adapted by Steve Martin. Theodore Maske has an unusual problem: his wife’s underpants won’t stay up! When they accidentally fall down in front of the Kaiser, Theo swears to keep his bride at home until the incident is forgotten. Amid this chaos, he’s trying to rent a room in their flat, but is the room the only thing the prospective lodgers have in mind?
Laura: I thought this was a pretty well acted show. Everybody kept in their character and related to each other well. I did not quite get the deeper meanings of this show. I thought it was kind of fluffy and did not quite hold my attention.
Mike: I was expecting a wide open farce because it was adapted into English by Steve Martin. While there there were a lot of very funny scenes and clever word play (some of the double entendres were pretty good zingers), the whole show just did not feel like a cohesive unit. More like a lot of skits that were put together so I was a little confused by this show.
Laura: The head of the household, Theo Maske, was played by James Chandler. He seemed to play the part very uptight and forthright. It was his way or no way. He had a hard time controlling his wife, although I liked their interactions. There was a wall between them that she tried to tear down, but he would not have it.
Mike: He did remind me of Steve Martin. I do not know if that was the writing of Steve Martin coming out, or if that was the way Chandler chose to play the role. Some of the mannerisms and some of the delivery of the lines did remind me of Steve Martin.
Theo’s wife, Louise Maske was played by Claudia Love Petty. She had the challenge of balancing being a dutiful wife and being a woman. This experience of her underpants accidentally falling down kind of woke her up. She was pretty believable as she began to realize that she could have an affair with one of the room renters and was all for that.
Her upstairs neighbor, Gertrude, was played by Marrianne Meyers. She loved to live vicariously and I think the two of them had nice spark between them. I liked how the Meyers character shepherded Petty into this new life of excitement and the affairs. The fact that it never quite worked out right was one of the funny bits in the show.
Laura: One of the perspective renters, Cohen, an opera-loving barber, was played by Mario Font. He was pretty believable, maybe a little neurotic. He had some good scenes, especially when he was trying to coax Louise into bed with him by plotting to get rid of the other perspective renter, Versati the poet played by Marcus Dunn.
Mike: The Versati character had a lot of good lines. He was so self obsessed and so pretentious with being a poet. That was the most important thing to him. That left Louise very frustrated at times. I believe the delivery of the lines worked pretty well. The timing and the frustration all came out on Petty’s face.
Klingelhoff who was an upright man. He kind of drifted in and out a few times. There were some opportunities for some funny set up lines that never quite happened. I do not know if that was an interpretation for this show or a problem with Steve Martin’s writings. Klingelhoff was played by Bill Brannigan. At the end of the show he did come in with a more important part, but it just did not feel right. It felt like something had been tweaked or changed. There was one set of vernacular Klingelhoff shared near the very end that just did not feel right. I do not know if they changed some of the script or the characterization. Something felt off.
All in all it was an enjoyable show. There was some flat out laughter points. There were some other points where I was confused by what was going on.
Laura: I really liked the set for The Underpants. Great attention to detail. It took place in Germany and it felt very German. The Set Designer was Chris Feldmann.
Mike: I liked the view out the window of the back wall. You had a fire escape so that Gertrude was easily accessible and could come down and talk to Louise. Along with a view out the window, it felt right. I liked the set.
Laura: The Underpants is playing through Saturday, June 28. Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8. Sunday matinees at 3 pm at the Little Theatre of Alexandria in Alexandria, Virginia.
Mike: The show runs an hour and twenty five minutes without intermission. Love to hear your thoughts about the show. Simply leave a note here at ShowBizRadio.net or send us an email. We’d like to invite you to join our free mailing list so that you can stay informed with what is happening with community theater in the DC Region.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
- Theo Maske, a bureaucrat: James Chandler
- Louise Maske, his wife: Claudia Love Petty
- Gertrude, the nosy neighbor: Marianne Meyers
- Cohen, an opera-loving barber: Mario Font
- Versati, a poet: Marcus Dunn
- Klingelhoff, an upright man: Bill Brannigan
- Producers: Marian Holmes and Russell Wyland
- Director: Eddie Schwartz
- Assistant to the Director: Chrish Kresge
- Stage Managers: Jennifer Lyman and Mary Beth Smith-Toomey
- Set Design: Chris Feldman
- Set Construction: Jack Schaeffer and Jerry Wolf
- Assisted by: Gail Cafardi, Chris Feldman, John Guinn, Chris Hardy, Orron Kee, Bob King, Jeff /Nesmeyer, Richard Schwab, Bob Staiman, Allen Stuhl, Robert Timmerman
- Set Painting: Kevin O’Dowd
- Assisted by: Jim Hutzler, Mary Hutzler, Buffy Mechling, Leslie Reed, Michael Toomey
- Set Decoration: Marian Holmes and Russell Wyland
- Properties: Bobbbie Herbst
- Assisted by: Rachel Alberrts, Leigh Ann Behrens, Leslie Reed, Jayn Rife, Margaret Snow
- Costume Deign: Beverly Benda
- Assisted by: Kit Sibley
- Wardrobe: Annie Vroom
- Assisted by: George Alberts, Rachel Alberts, Lyndsey Austin, Margaret Snow
- Lighting Design: Nancy Owens
- Master Electrician: Eileen Doherty
- Assisted by: Elizabeth Herbst, Douglas Olmsted, Pam Leonowich, Richard Schwab, Kerry Stinson, J.J. Stinson, Carrie Vernon
- Sound Design: Anna Hawkins
- Assisted by: Davis Hale, Amy Blackwood, David Correia, Charles Dragonette, Heather Franklin, Bill Rinehuls, Alan Wray
- Makeup and Hair Design: Paul Morton
- Rigging: Russell Wyland
- Double Tech Dinner: Fraank Shutts, II
- Opening Night Party: Michael Toomey
- Assisted by: Ronnie Hardcastle, Benny Robles, Frank Shutts, Myke Taister
- Photography: Peter Piraneo
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2331.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.