An Inspired Sex Farce, “Don’t Dress for Dinner” at the New Gremlin Space


Photo credit DreamFirstBorn Images.

Watch out! This hilarious sex comedy has more entanglements than cats wrestling with a ball of twine. In playwright Marc Camoletti’s Don’t Dress for Dinner a husband, Bernard (Peter Christian Hansen), expects his wife, Jacqueline (Melanie Wehrmacher), to take off for the weekend so he can have a tryst with his mistress behind her back at their home. Additionally, a visiting old buddy, Robert (Grant Henderson), actually hopes to bed down with a willing Jacqueline.

Photo credit DreamFirstBorn Images.

Then there is a mistress, Suzanne (Sierra Schermerhorn), a chef, Suzette (Maeve Moynihan), and her macho hubby (Mike Dolphin). This turns into an utter orgy of mistaken identities, as well as something beckoning another kind of orgy. Brian Balcom has directed the 1987 farce, translated by Robin Hawdon from French to English, with intricately physical interactions that are often uproarious. The entire cast’s mastery of pace, timing, and intentional focus is impeccable and inspired.

Wehrmacher is becoming one of the great leading comic ladies of Twin Cities theater and Don’t Dress for Dinner is evidence of this. Schermerhorn exquisitely balances feline sensuality with warm likability. Dolphin delights as a rugged workingman in the midst of those who seem to be too sophisticated for their own good. The new Gremlin space serves the zany action to up close and personal effect.

Don’t Dress for Dinner
Through July 30
Gremlin Theatre, 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul

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