Don't Dress for Dinner, the Sequel to Boeing-Boeing, Will Bounce Onto Broadway; John Tillinger Directs

News   Don't Dress for Dinner, the Sequel to Boeing-Boeing, Will Bounce Onto Broadway; John Tillinger Directs
 
Marc Camoletti's Don't Dress for Dinner, featuring the further farcical adventures of Robert and Bernard, from the author's Boeing-Boeing, will get a new Broadway production by Roundabout Theatre in spring 2012. John Tillinger, who recently directed the comedy in Chicago, will direct.

Playwright Marc Camoletti
Playwright Marc Camoletti

The script is adapted by Robin Hawdon. The cast will not necessarily reflect the 2008-09 Chicago staging, which was popular at the Royal George Theatre. It then starred Jeffrey Donovan of TV's "Burn Notice" as Robert and Mark Harelik as Bernard, with Patricia Kalember, Spencer Kayden, Jamie Morgan and Chris Sullivan.

The Broadway production, presented in association with Damian Arnold, will begin previews at the American Airlines Theatre on March 30, 2012, and open April 26.

Boeing-Boeing, a title that first surfaced in the 1960s (and was also a film), became a staple of American regional and dinner theatres in the decades that followed. It would become a London and Broadway smash in the 21st century when director Matthew Warchus got his hands on it (it won the Best Revival Tony Award in 2008).

The Roundabout's Don't Dress For Dinner will be a limited engagement through June 17, 2012.

The design team includes John Lee Beatty (sets), Jess Goldstein (costumes) and Ken Billington (lights). Here's how the not-for-profit Roundabout characterizes the show: "Marc Camoletti's Don't Dress for Dinner is the wildly funny sequel to the Broadway hit Boeing-Boeing. Bernard's plans for a romantic rendezvous with his mistress are complete with a gourmet caterer and an alibi courtesy of his friend, Robert. But when Bernard's wife learns that Robert will be visiting for the weekend, she decides to stay in town for a surprise tryst of her own… setting the stage for a collision course of hidden identities and outrageous infidelities. The cook is Suzette, the lover is Suzanne, the friend is bewildered, the wife is suspicious, the husband is losing his mind and everyone is guaranteed a good time at this hilarious romp through the French countryside."

Haimes said in Roundabout production notes that the comedy will bring some lightness to a Roundabout season that has had success with shadowy themes and characters this year. "I realize that we've taken our audience to some dark places this fall, from Frank Langella's manipulative father in Man and Boy, to the many misfortunes of the Douiahy family in Sons of the Prophet, to the suicide note writers of Suicide, Incorporated," Haimes commented. "In addition, our upcoming productions of The Road to Mecca and Look Back in Anger are sure to deliver in the dramatic department. While all of those plays are great at showing the humor that can be found even in life's toughest moments, I still feel that we are primed and ready to delve into a play that is all about pure joy. Farce is such a unique genre, and I really want to bring our audiences a strong dose of unabashed delight. That was what I felt when I saw John's production of Don't Dress for Dinner in Chicago — there's nothing quite like spending a whole evening laughing. I thought John had a fresh take on the play, and it feels incredibly fun and contemporary for having been written nearly 30 years ago."

Don't Dress For Dinner opened in Paris in 1987, under the original title Pajamas Pour Six, and ran for over two years. Hawdon's adaptation of the original French play premiered in London at the Apollo Theatre in 1991 and ran for six years.

The late Camoletti was a French citizen born in Geneva in 1923. He initially trained as an architect. His career as a playwright took off in 1958 with the Paris hit La Bonne Anna (running for 1,300 performances and going on to play throughout the world). His first great British success was Boeing-Boeing. The original London production ran for seven years at the Apollo and Duchess Theatres, playing over 2,000 performances. In Paris, 18 of his plays have been performed. Ten of his plays have also been shown on television, the latest being Sexe et Jalousie (Ding Dong). An Associate of the Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts, Camoletti became a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honeur, one of France's highest honors. He died in 2003.

Director Tillinger's Broadway credits include Absurd Person Singular with Paxton Whitehead and Deborah Rush; Say Goodnight, Gracie with Frank Gorshin; Judgment at Nuremburg with Maximilian Schell, Martha Keller and George Grizzard; Night Must Fall with Matthew Broderick; The Sunshine Boys with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall; Inherit the Wind with Charles Durning and George C. Scott (Tony Award nomination, OCC Award); Arthur Miller's Broken Glass; The Price with Eli Wallach (Tony Award nomination); Sweet Sue with Mary Tyler Moore and Lynn Redgrave; Loot! with Joseph Maher (Tony Award nomination, OCC Award); Corpse! with Milo O'Shea. Off-Broadway, he directed Tea at Five; A Picasso; House and Garden; Comic Potential; A Perfect Ganesh; Lips Together Teeth Apart; It's Only a Play; Breaking Legs; The Lisbon Traviata (Lortel Award); Love Letters (Lortel Award); The Perfect Party (OCC Award); Entertaining Mr. Sloane (Drama Desk Award).

Producer Damian Arnold is the founding member of The British Stage Company (BSC), which was established to present works of a chiefly comic nature. Don't Dress for Dinner is its inaugural production. BSC also produced the Chicago run.

Don't Dress for Dinner will play Tuesday through Saturday evening at 8 PM with Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 PM.

For tickets and information, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.

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