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  Play Details

Don't Dress for Dinner

Royal George Theatre
1641 N. Halsted Chicago

Don't Dress for Dinner is a frenetic case of mistaken identity with more twists than a corkscrew. When Jacqueline decides to visit her mother for a few days, her husband Bernard sees an opportunity for a cozy weekend with his new mistress. His bachelor pal Robert 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.

Presented by British Stage Company

Thru - Apr 19, 2009



Price: $45-$59.50

Show Type: Comedy

Running Time: 2hrs 10mins; one intermission

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  Don't Dress for Dinner Reviews

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...To say it tickles that much-neglected, much-necessary, semimythical, recession-challenged appendage is not to do the show justice. It gives it a series of rib-rousing strokes. All night long. Better yet, you do not have to suspend your intelligence. The late Camoletti—who also wrote “Boeing Boeing,” revived last season on Broadway to critical acclaim—wrote classy parodies of upper-middle-class lies and deceits that were really closer to Alan Ayckbourn than Ray Cooney, the cheaper, trouser-dropping farceur whose works are better known in Chicago."
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Chirs Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

...The production (in an adaptation by Robin Hawdon) is a reminder that the key to enjoying a farce is the easeful (if at the same time slightly insane) execution of all its physical (and verbal) demands. There is pure giddy pleasure to be had in watching as Jeffrey Donovan (of TV's "Burn Notice") Mark Harelik, Patricia Kalember, Jamie Morgan, Chris Sullivan -- and above all Spencer Kayden -- lurch into the madness of this play with a feigned casualness that is set to the increasingly manic beat of some inner metronome."
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Hedy Weiss


Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Under the guidance of veteran director John Tillinger, a crack ensemble handles the play's rapid-fire repartee, racy double entendres, and broad physical comedy with aplomb. Leading man Jeffrey Donovan (of USA Network's Burn Notice) recalls Cary Grant with his sexy charm, athleticism, and gift for deadpan humor--but ex-Neo-Futurist Spencer Kayden steals the show as the wacky cateress."
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Albert Williams


Examiner - Highly Recommended

"...Down to the last Freudian slip (and provocative slip) the ensemble is a crackerjack team of inspired zanies, their collective command of farce’s all-important machine-gun-rapid timing a joy to behold."
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Catey Sullivan


Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...The coast-to-coast cast acquits itself with verbal agility and athletic stamina under the direction of John Tillinger, assisted by dialect instructor Alan Wilder's razor-sharp French accent for the chipmunk-voiced Spencer Kayden, costume designer Virgil C. Johnson's breakaway server's uniform that magically transforms to a chic Parisian cocktail gown, and a technical team that keeps the madcap action progressing as swiftly and precision-timed as a Road Runner cartoon."
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Mary Shen Barnidge


Chicago Free Press - Highly Recommended

"...Director John Tillinger leads his talented cast to delightfully absurd excesses. Top-billed Jeffrey Donovan, an actor with soap-opera-idol looks and prominent TV credits, proves to be much more than a pretty face, nimbly negotiating his many steps in this intricate dance. Patricia Kalember plays his lover with steely reserve and an air of impressive authority, while Mark Harelik provides a fine target with his smug take on Jacqueline’s irksome cheating husband."
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Web Behrens


EpochTimes - Highly Recommended

"...When one thinks about what is happening in our world today, they might want to escape, at least for a few hours- to empty one's mind of the senseless world we live in and just laugh those troubles away. The English and French are well known for creation of the farce, the pure comedy of mistaken identity, lots of plot twists, a bit of slapstick and lots of sexual innuendo-; "Don't Dress For Dinner" written by Mark Camoletti is such a theater piece and the production that has just opened at The Royal George Theatre "Hits the spot!"- it is a pure delight with a cast of six marvelous actors, all with great comic timing under the direction of John Tillinger."

Al Bresloff


Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...Tillinger’s crack team of fight and dance choreographers have blocked the show down to the slightest gesture, generating enough momentum to brush such concerns aside. Everyone is excellent, but, as Suzette, Neo-Futurist and Chicago expat Kayden entirely fulfills the comic possibilities of her put-upon role, pretty much owning this ensemble effort."
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Brian Nemtusak


ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The wonderful cast manically throw themselves into the material. Jamie Morgan and Spencer Kayden are terrific as the two sexy women who must trade roles. Chris Sullivan offers strong turns as the cook’s husband. Mark Harelik is wonderful as the horny husband but Jeffrey Donovan and Patricia Kalember offer fearless turns that lead the hilarity. This is an energetic, smart and funny show that will entertain you throughout."
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Tom Williams


Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Read the impressive list of Director John Tillinger's credits and you will realize this is an absolute pro, thoroughly capable of mining comic gold from every plausible implausibility. It helps that Tillinger's got a very fine script, written by Marc Camoletti and adapted by Robin Hawdon. Tillinger's staging is appropriately breezy yet sharply honed. It's all strangely logical too as each character attempts to either keep from being caught with their hand in the cookie jar or to cover up for someone else's indiscretion."

Joe Stead


   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the opening night judges of The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season.
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