FST’s production of “The Underpants” provides a laugh-laden evening of entertaining sexual innuendo and sexist satire. Adapted by one of America’s most revered contemporary writer/comedians, Steve Martin, the play was written by German Expressionist writer and cultural critic, Carl Sternheim. Written in the 1920s, the original play was an absurdist exposé of middle-class morality and gender inequality. Sternheim believed that people should act in accordance with their inner nature as opposed to a fixed, artificial morality imposed from without. As one character states, “Desire adjusts morality,” to justify itself.
The patently ridiculous premise hinges on a woman’s underwear — read: knickers for this historical period — which come untied and fall to her ankles during a parade for the king, causing a ruckus that’s reported in the daily news. What follows are two acts of ridicule heaped on the men’s response to this unexpected glimpse of lingerie, in which the women come out subtly on top.
Bruce Jordan, who directed the wildly successful “Shear Madness” twice at FST, steers this similarly offbeat ship with equal gusto and pace. The lively ensemble cast includes new and returning seasoned talent. Gil Brady plays Theo Maske, a self-important minor bureaucrat who makes a lousy husband and declares to his wife, “I want to stop nagging you, but you won’t let me.” Jennifer Joan Thompson plays his wife, Louise Maske, and owner of the infamous unmentionables, who becomes enlightened and empowered by the proceedings. The dual role of Frank Versati and King is played with enthusiastic swarm by Danny Bernardy. Daryl Embry plays nerdy Benjamin Cohen with cringing conviction. Chet Carlin plays the small role of Klinglehoff with the perfect degree of fuddy-duddy. Most enjoyable to me was Mary Ann Conk’s comedic performance as neighbor Gertrude Deuter, who supplies our heroine with additional pairs of lace undies and voices the most rational, humanistic views of the events, and, I suspect, the author’s.
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23 A Wink and a Smile
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25 "Jazz at Two" with the Kevin Celebi Quartet
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25 The Sarasota Ballet presents Program 7 | Johan Kobborg, Alina Cojocaru & Friends
26 St. Armands Fine Art Festival
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A Cinderella story
A 10-week-old miniature pinscher puppy found a “happily ever after ending” at the Celebration of Pets April 12, at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds.
Pharmacy brings dose of medicine to Publix
The in-store pharmacy of Longboat Key Publix opened Monday, approximately 16 months after the completion of the new store at 525 Bay Isles Parkway, in the Shoppes of Bay Isles.
Golfer scores victory with less than a stroke
The Longboat Key Masters Golf Tournament, which took place March 28 through March 31, at the Resort at Longboat Key Club’s Islandside and Harbourside golf courses came down to less than one stroke’s difference between first-place winner Kevin Preston and second-place winner Michael Russell, of Longboat Key.