The star-spiked cast, under the direction of John Tillinger, includes Patricia Kalember, of TV's "Sisters" and "thirtysomething," plus Jeffrey Donovan (of USA Network's "Burn Notice" and the Clint Eastwood film, "Changeling"), Broadway and screen actor Mark Harelik, Urinetown veteran Spencer Kayden, Jamie Morgan and Chris Sullivan.
Performances continue to Jan. 11, 2009, at the Royal George Theatre Main Stage, 1641 N. Halsted Street.
Don't Dress for Dinner is presented by the British Stage Company, LLC.
According to the producers, "Don't Dress for Dinner is a frenetic case of mistaken identity with more twists than a corkscrew. When Jacqueline (Kalember) decides to visit her mother for a few days, her husband Bernard (Harelik) sees an opportunity for a cozy weekend with his new mistress. His bachelor pal Robert (Donovan) calls to announce his return from Hong Kong, so Bernard invites him along as his alibi, also hiring a Cordon Bleu-level cook to cater a delicious dinner. But when Jacqueline realizes Robert is coming for a visit everything changes, and the high speed farce begins! One impossible situation leads to another as the hapless friend Robert finds himself the target of both amorous attention and wrathful vengeance, while Bernard tries desperately to salvage a scrap of illicit bliss from the wreckage of a weekend. Rounding out the zany cast of characters are two women (Kayden and Morgan) — both named Suzy — who must trade the roles of cook and mistress." Kalember was last seen on Broadway in Losing Louie. She appeared in two Larry Shue plays in New York City: Broadway's The Nerd and Off-Broadway's The Foreigner.
Donovan stars as Michael Westen in USA Network's hit action series "Burn Notice." His other television credits include HBO's original film "When Trumpets Fade"; and recurring roles on "Crossing Jordan," "Spin City," "The Beat" and "The Pretender." On the big screen, Donovan's film credits include "Hitch," "Sleepers," "Come Early Morning" and "Believe in Me." Donovan appears opposite Angelina Jolie in Clint Eastwood's "Changeling."
Harelik's credits include Broadway's The Light in the Piazza and Off-Broadway's Old Money, The House in Town, The Beard of Avon and the national tour of The Heidi Chronicles.
Kayden is a graduate of Northwestern University, and longtime writer/performer with Chicago's Neo-Futurists in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. She also starred in Urinetown the Musical (Outer Critics Circle, Theatre World, and Clarence Derwent Awards; Tony, Drama Desk, and Lortel nominated).
Morgan earned her MFA at the University of Washington's graduate acting program. She wrote, acted and produced a solo show, Dolores and also produced and acted in a Bernadette Flagler play, Nixons in Purgatory. She also can be seen in the role of Dr. Diane Newman in FX's "Rescue Me" with Dennis Leary.
Sullivan (who plays the role of George) appeared in Chicago's The Ballad of Emmett Till (Goodman Theatre); Dangerous Beauty (American Music Theatre Project); and Defending the Caveman (The Lakeshore Theater). He is currently appearing as Lancaster in Chicago Shakespeare Theatre's Edward II.
The production staff includes costume designer Virgil Johnson, scenic designer Jim Noone, lighting designer Keith Parham, production manager Matt Marsden and stage manager Lucia Lombardi.
Tillinger's credits include Broadway's Absurd Person Singular with Paxton Whitehead and Deborah Rush; Say Goodnight Gracie with Frank Gorshin (Tony nomination); Judgment at Nuremberg 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 nomination, Outer Critics Circle Award); Arthur Miller's Broken Glass; The Price with Eli Wallach (Tony nomination); Sweet Sue with Mary Tyler Moore and Lynn Redgrave; Loot! with Joseph Maher (Tony nomination, Outer Critics Circle); Corpse! with Milo O'Shea; The Golden Age with Stockard Channing, Irene Worth and Jeff Daniels; and Solomon's Child.
A French citizen born in Geneva in 1923, Marc Camoletti initially trained as an architect. In 1958 he had three plays presented simultaneously in Paris, the first La Bonne Anna running for 1,300 performances and going on to play throughout the world. Already an established success in Paris as Pyjama pour Six, the initial London production of the English language version — called Don't Dress for Dinner (translated by Robin Hawdon) — ran for seven years in the West End, opening at the Apollo Theatre and transferring to the Duchess Theatre. The play has also been performed in several U.S. venues, as well as in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, and in different languages throughout the world. Camoletti's first great British success was Boeing-Boeing, currently enjoying a Tony Award-winning revival on Broadway following its recent West End triumph. The original London production ran for seven years at the Apollo and Duchess Theatres. Camoletti gained worldwide acclaim through the multitude of productions of his plays in 55 countries. In Paris alone 18 of his plays have enjoyed around 20,000 performances in all. Ten of his plays have also been shown on television. An Associate of the Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts, Camoletti became a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honeur, one of France's highest honours. He died in 2003.
Translator Hawdon has been a novelist, a West End playwright, a TV soap actor, B-movie film star, Hamlet, director of one of England's foremost theatres (Theatre Royal Bath) and more.
Don't Dress for Dinner marks the inaugural production of the Chicago-based British Stage Company, LLC, led by current Chicago resident and British expat Damian Arnold. The British Stage Company was formed in 2008 to present primarily comedic works, especially those popular on the West End stage.
Tickets are now on sale via the Royal George Theatre box office. For information call (312) 988-9000 or visit Ticketmaster.com. Discounts are also available for groups of 10 or more by calling Group Theatre Tix at (312) 423-6612.
For more information visit www.dontdressfordinner.com.