Last Saturday we saw one of the final Broadway performances of the French farce Don't Dress For Dinner and based on the reviews the show received I went in with low expectations. I don't know if the cast has had more performances to work on those things I mentioned above or if it was just my low expectations but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome and the casts ability to pull off this play that included many hilarious moments.
|Adam James and Ben Daniels|
|Spencer Hayden, Ben Daniels and Patricia Kalember|
Bernard and Jacqueline are a middle aged married couple who are both having affairs on the side. Jacqueline is supposed to be going out of town to see her mother so Bernard had arranged for his mistress Suzanne to visit for the weekend along with his friend Robert. When Jacqueline learns that Robert is coming for the weekend she changes her plans as Robert is actually her lover and she figures that if she stays she and Robert can find some time to be together. Bernard has also arranged a cook to come for the weekend to help out with things. So, when Jacqueline tells Bernard that she is not going to see her mother he tells her that Robert is bringing his girlfriend and convinces Robert to pretend that Suzanne is his girlfriend. When Robert confuses the cook Suzette for Bernard's mistress Suzanne hilarity begins. Things really get interesting when the cook begins to understand exactly what is going on and how to continually monopolize on the ever changing situation as the stakes get higher and higher. The craziness doesn't stop for the next two hours.
|Spencer Hayden and Ben Daniels|
The same can't be said about Jennifer Tilly. Sure, she may come across as performing in a different version of the play then the rest of the cast due to her roughness and lack of any form of European accent but damn if she doesn't grow on you. She provides a huge shot of sexuality as well to the otherwise prim and proper cast. She has no problem letting it all hang out and her curves and flash of flesh add a nice bawdy element. David Aron Damane has the right combination of fear and sweetness as Suzette's jealous husband and when he shows up late in act two he has no problem jumping right in with the rest of the cast and actually brings the zaniness to an even higher level.
|Jennifer Tilly, Ben Daniels and Spencer Hayden|
Video segment featuring the cast talking about the show and some clips of the production: