Making his stage debut after years of sitcom work is Diedrich Bader, best known for playing Oswald on "The Drew Carey Show." At Westport Country Playhouse in CT, Bader will appear in a farce by Robin Hawdon, Perfect Wedding, July 27-Aug. 8
The marital theme is apt, since Bader will appear with his real life wife, Dulcy Rogers. Not only that, Rogers' sister, Amanda Rogers, appears in the show, opposite her husband, Frank Ferrante. A Philadelphia Walnut Theatre veteran, Ferrante is best known for his portrayals of Groucho Marx in Groucho: A Life In Review and Off-Broadway's The Cocoanuts.
But the inbreeding of Perfect Wedding doesn't even stop there. The Rogers sisters' parents, David Rogers & June L. Rogers, are also in the show. As far as we know, the seventh cast-member, Melissa King, is not related to anybody, however she did appear in Arthur Miller's familial American Clock at Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre.
Directed by John Going, Perfect Wedding tells of a fellow who wakes up the day after his bachelor party to find a woman in his bed -- and she isn't his wife. He convinces her to play the chambermaid, which works until the real maid shows up.
According to Westport spokesperson Patricia E. Blaufuss (July 20) Hawdon, an English farceur, also penned Barn Dance, The Secret, The Mating Game, The Hero, French Farce, Birthday Suite and People. The Playhouse performed Hawdon's adaptation of Marc Camoletti's Don't Dress For Dinner in 1992. After Wedding comes the musical/murder-mystery spoof Something's Afoot. Liz Sheridan, who played Jerry Seinfeld's mom on TV's "Seinfeld," stars, Aug. 10-22. Pamela Hunt directs.
Closing the season is Eleanor: Her Private Journey, a one-woman show starring Jean Stapleton. Rhoda Lerman wrote this look at Eleanor Roosevelt's life, based on Lerman's own non-fiction book. John Tillinger directs this NY Theatre Guild production, running Aug. 24-Sept. 5. The show was done at the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center in Nyack and is, according to Westport spokesperson Blaufuss, just starting to make the rounds of regional theatres.
For tickets and information on shows at Westport Country Playhouse, just off Post Road East in Westport, call (203) 227-4177.
-- By David Lefkowitz