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Theater Review: Sherman Players Offering Comedy Theater At Its Best

Published: September 28, 2018 at 07:00 am

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Louise (Brianna Bowman) calmly sips her tea while her husband Theo (Timothy Huber) listens to Cohen (Joe Manuele) make a point, in a scene from The Sherman Players production of The Underpants.
—photo courtesy The Sherman Players

SHERMAN — The Sherman Players are presenting an utterly charming rendition of The Underpants, by Carl Sternheim and adapted by Steve Martin. This is community theater at its very best — an evening of light comedy performed by delightful actors in the hands of Director Dan Friedman, who has just the right touch.

In a public setting, at the most inopportune moment, the totally lovely Louise (played by Brianna Bowmen) drops her drawers in an act she cannot replicate even when she tries. Louise is shamed, and her remote and oblivious husband, Theo (Timothy Huber), only makes her feel worse.

The unfortunate event, which took place as the King (Chris Marker) was passing by, will most certainly result in Theo’s demotion, if not outright termination, at least according to Theo.

Several bystanders witnessed Louise’s lingerie letting loose and have responded to the advertised room to rent in the apartment she shares with Theo. Versati (Michael Schaner), a velvet-caped poet with a penchant for the pantiless, is the first to lay claim to the room and swear his devotion, followed by the droll Cohen (Joe Manuele), who is determined to protect Louise from Versati. These men swoon and pander to Louise without arousing the slightest suspicion from Theo.

Nosy neighbor Gertrude (Michele Leigh) sets out to replace the loose pantaloons while encouraging Louise to embrace the romantic possibilities with the enchanting Versati. She also entertains the invitation of an afternoon delight with the previously frigid Theo.

Rounding out this kooky cadre of interlopers is Klinglehoff (Jeff Rossman), a stiff prude with an unusual tic in response to stress.

This play is like an ice cream sundae: delish, not too filling, and yet totally satisfying. The opening night audience enjoyed every minute.

Timothy Huber is effortlessly funny. He delivers a priceless performance.

As his neglected wife, Brianna Bowman is just adorable. Her frustration and desires play out beautifully across her expressive face.

The trio of male visitors — Michael Schaner, Joe Manuele, and Jeff Rossman — are all hilarious comic talents.

Playing the upstairs eavesdropper with a heart, Michele Leigh is delightful. Chris Marker plays the King who passed by and has found the lady who lost her undies, whispers a sweet something in her ear. He and his monocle are spot on.

The worn and comfy interior set is well designed by the always creative and exacting Al Chiapetta.

This production of The Underpants is the epitome of a lovely night at the theater, and who doesn’t love that?

Performances continue through October 13. Curtain is 8 pm Fridays and Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays, September 30 and October 7.

Tickets are $24 adults, $12 students, and they may be purchased by visiting shermanplayers.org or calling 860-354-3699. The Sherman Playhouse is at 5 Route 39 North in Sherman.

 

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