Steve Martin's Play The Underpants at Olney Theatre Center
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The last date listed for The Underpants was Saturday October 18, 2008 / 2:00pm.
Adapted by Steve Martin from a play by Carl Sternheim
Steve Martin’s contemporary adaptation of The Underpants, a turn-of-the-century sex farce, takes the New Mainstage at Olney Theatre Center. As with all things Steve Martin, he “has brought his own special brand of humor to this adaptation by adding his own skewed view of the universe, his insight into the madness of the characters, and his impeccable ear for comic dialogue,” says Director John Going.
The Underpants tells the hilarious tale of Theo Maske, a stuffed-shirt government clerk, and his young wife Louise. When she accidentally drops her “unmentionables” at the King’s parade, Theo doesn’t know how to handle the lavish amount of male attention his wife suddenly receives. Things take a decidedly amorous turn as would-be suitors rent a room in the couple’s flat, and a nosy upstairs neighbor attempts to live vicariously through Louise.
The Underpants is in the capable hands of Associate Artistic Director John Going, who recently directed the successful summer run of The Mousetrap. Going has staged more than 30 productions at Olney including Doubt: A Parable, 13 Rue de L’Amour, I Am My Own Wife, and The Constant Wife. A four-time Helen Hayes Award nominee, Going received the award for Outstanding Direction for his work on _The Miser _at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre. He recently won the Kevin Kline Award for Best Director for I Am My Own Wife at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.
The cast for The Underpants features James Beneduce, making his Olney debut as Theo Maske. James has performed at such theaters as The Kennedy Center, The American Shakespeare Center, Long Island Shakespeare Festival, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and is a company member of the First Look Theatre Company in New York. Another Olney first-timer, Allison McLemore, plays Louise Maske, Theo’s wife. She performed Off-Broadway in The Madras House, as well as regionally in Cyrano at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Pygmalion and _Enchanted April _at Creede Repertory Theatre, and Antigone Now and A Christmas Carole at the Cincinnati Playhouse. Joan Rosenfels (Gertrude Deuter, the nosy neighbor) returns to Olney Theatre Center in a role similar to her last performance there in See How They Run. Her New York credits include Roundabout Theater, Signature Theater, Manhattan Theater Club, and Ensemble Studio Theater. Jeffries Thaiss (suitor Frank Versati), no stranger to area audiences, was most recently seen on the New Mainstage in The Mousetrap (dir. John Going). Additional Olney appearances include Democracy, 13 Rue de L’Amour (dir. John Going),_ An Enemy of the People_, and Hedda Gabler. Regionally he has performed at such venues as Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Cincinnati Playhouse, and The Kennedy Center. Competing for Louise’s affections is Bruce Nelson as Benjamin Cohen. Bruce, a National Players alum, returns to Olney after a 16 year hiatus, having played Merrick in The Elephant Man. Other credits include Gidger in The Violet Hour (Helen Hayes Award) and Langley in The Dazzle (Helen Hayes Award) at Rep Stage, Dwight in Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Limping Man in Fuddy Meers at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and Tranio in Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare Theatre Company. Vincent Clark (Klinglehoff) made his professional debut at Olney in 1975 in _The Show Off _with Jan Miner. His most recent appearances have been in Democracy, 13 Rue de L’Amour, and St. Joan. Vincent is a regular at the Washington Stage Guild. H. Alan Hoffman (the King) last performed at Olney as Avram in Fiddler on the Roof. Alan was most recently part of the ensemble in Jerry Springer: The Opera at Studio Theatre. He has toured nationally with productions of Mame and _Camelot.
In addition to Going, the creative team for The Underpants includes Scenic Designer James Wolk (Olney’s The Mousetrap, Doubt: A Parable, 13 Rue de L’Amour, Anything Goes, and more); Costume Designer Liv Covey (Olney’s The Mousetrap, 13 Rue de L’Amour, and The Constant Wife); Lighting Designer Dennis Parichy (Olney’s Doubt: A Parable, 13 Rue de L’Amour, and The Constant Wife); Wig Designer Nicole Paul (Olney’s _13 Rue de L’Amour _and Of Mice and Men); Sound Designer and Olney’s Audio Engineer Jarett C. Pisani (Olney’s The Mousetrap, 1776, Bad Dates, Doubt: A Parable, Fiddler on the Roof, and more); and Dialect/Vocal Coach Nancy Krebs (Olney’s Doubt: A Parable, Of Mice and Men, Charlie’s Aunt, Blithe Spirit, and more).