‘Don’t Dress for Dinner’ is best summed up as funny

Khalil Ajlani (top), Ostella Works (center), Laurie Easterlin (seated, from left), Terry Allen Newton and Emily Alsdorf take the stage in Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre’s “Don’t Dress for Dinner.” SPECIAL

Summing up a plot line should only take a sentence if you know your show well.

 

At least, that’s always been Roy Lewis’ belief. Despite his decades of acting and directing, he said he’s rethinking that one with the show he’s currently directing because Don’t Dress for Dinner is a comedy whose characters will keep audience members’ heads spinning with lots of mistaken identity, double lives and hilarity.

“A man, his wife, a cook, a model and a friend. What could go wrong?” said Lewis, in his best short description of the show, which will be performed at Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre for three weekends beginning July 28.

Written by Mark Camo­letti, who also wrote the comedy Boeing Boeing, Don’t Dress for Dinner is a farce set in France in the 1960s. When a man tries to plan a romantic getaway with his mistress and his wife intercepts a suspicious phone call, the situation is ripe for all calamity that ensues.

Add the wife’s lover, who also happens to be her husband’s friend, into the mix, and you see Lewis’ conundrum when trying to explain it to people in a simple fashion.

“This is a high comedy,” said Lewis, “You have to listen to the words to follow the story.”

And while the situation may not be one that many people have encountered, they are likely to see people they know within each of the characters.

“We all have friends who are not making good choices,” he said.

Don’t Dress for Dinner has a cast of six including some veteran performers such as Laurie Easterlin and Terry Newton, who’ve done numerous shows around town. Easterlin and Newton play the married couple, Bernard and Jacqueline. The show features several newcomers to either the stage or the area including Ostella Works, originally from Malaysia, who comes to the area via London. Works plays Suzette the cook. Lewis said she has an impressive résumé.

Despite the fact that some of them haven’t ever worked together, the cast has great chemistry and has bonded through a crazy rehearsal schedule and a few Saturday pool parties.

“It’s a tight ensemble,” he said.

In addition to the show, there’s dinner, which features a new menu including a burgundy beef carving station and chicken cordon bleu, said Lewis.

Don’t Dress for Dinner will be performed July 28 and 29, Aug. 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 at Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre, Bldg. 32100, 3rd Ave. Tickets range from $28 for the show only to $53. Dinner begins at 7, with the show at 8 p.m. For reservations, call (706) 793-8552.

 

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