Hold on to your underpants New play coming to Minden’s CVIC Hall
Theo Markes faces an unusual problem: his wife’s underpants won’t stay on.
Adapted from a 1911 classic German play by Carl Sternheim and rewritten by comedian Steve Martin, the Carson Valley Community Theatre’s new production, “The Underpants” is about Theo and Louise Markes, a couple whose conservative existence is shattered when Louise’s bloomers fall down in public.
“The story takes place in an older time period where something out the ordinary didn’t happen very often,” said Devante’ Pounds who plays Versati in the play.
“The Underpants” sets in Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1910 where the Markes have a vacant room in their apartment.
One unfortunate morning, while Louise attends a parade to try and catch a glimpse of the king, her underpants fall to her ankles. Theo is humiliated. Louise’s momentary display attracts the attention of two infatuated men, a foppish poet and a whiny hypochondriac, each who want to rent the spare room in the Markes’ home. Happy to collect rent and oblivious to their intentions, Theo splits the room between the two. Soon, it is clear the lodgers have some underlying surprises of their own.
“Versati is a poet and he is a very proud man who’s passionate about everything he does,” said Pounds. “His biggest quest is to find the right motivation to create his greatest masterpiece, and believes that Louise is it.”
While the men squabble over who is the better man and Theo remains inattentive to the renters’ intentions and his wife’s charm, Louise begins to learn a powerful lesson in how she can obtain what she desires.
The original 1911 production was banned in Germany because of its suggestive satire, according to actorstheatre.org.
“Despite its awkward title, it’s not a dirty show,” said Diana Jones who plays Gertrude. “The humor is adult, but not x-rated. I’d say it is naughty, but not nasty. If you like a play with a twinkle in its eye – you’ll love this show.”
For director Michon Chandler the intimate scenes happen to be her favorite of the production.
“I am quite fond of the seduction scenes, they crack me up,” she said. “It’s a great time with lots of laughs and fantastic people.”
Not only will the comedy keep the audience laughing, but they will find a deeper meaning throughout, said Pounds.
“This play will keep surprising you, leaving you saying the same quote as Theo, ‘all from a pair of underpants,’” said Pounds.
In “The Underpants,” Steve Martin brings his comic genius and sophisticated literary style to Carl Sternheim’s classic farce.
“Sternheim’s play is ribald, self-referential and quirky,” Martin was quoted on actorstheatre.org. “I hope I have retained those elements and assured my place in heaven-I mean, served the playwright’s intentions.”
Carson Valley Community Theatre’s “Steve Martin’s The Underpants” will show 7:30 p.m. April 27 and 28, May 4 and 5 with matinee shows 2 p.m. April 29 and May 6 at the CVIC Hall, 1602 Esmeralda Avenue, Minden. General admission is $15. Students, seniors and CVCT members get in for $13. Tickets available online at Showtix4u.com or at the box office open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays at the Annex, 1572 highway 395, Minden. For more information, 775-292-0939.
Director: Michon Chandler
Stage Manager : Dylan Shirey
Louise: Katrina Olson
Theo: Kyle Littlefield
Gertrude : Diana Jones
Versati: Devante Pounds
Cohen : Sean Bridges
Klinglehoff : Kwaz
King : Mike Trute