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Aurora Theatre stages final play of season, "Don't Dress for Dinner"

Aurora Theatre stages play ‘Don’t Dress for Dinner’

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Actors Maria Rodriguez-Sager, Daniel Hilton and Bryan Brendle perform a scene from the Aurora Theatre's production of "Don't Dress for Dinner." (Special Photo: Chris Bartelski)

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Bryan Brendle, Kelly Criss and Daniel Hilton perform in "Don't Dress for Dinner." (Special Photo: Chris Bartelski)

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Daniel Hilton and Maria Rodriguez-Sager perform a scene from "Don't Dress for Dinner." (Special Photo: Chris Bartelski)

IF YOU GO

• What: “Don’t Dress for Dinner”

• When: 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through May 25

• Where: Aurora Theatre, 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville

• Cost: $20 to $30

• For more information: Call 678-226-6222 or visit www.auroratheatre...

“Don’t Dress for Dinner,” written by Marc Camoletti and adapted for the stage by Robin Hawdon, is a blend of classic British “bedroom farce” and high comedy of manners. The show is directed by George Contini, as associate professor in the University of Georgia’s Theatre and Film Studies Department.

“We set our production in the 1930s as an homage to those great old black and white screwball comedies like ‘Bringing Up Baby,’ ‘My Man Godfrey,’ (and) ‘Private Lives,’” Contini said. “It’s set in grand country home, so it’s kind of like ‘Downton Abbey’ meets Benny Hill. Lots of slapstick, physical humor, ridiculous situations, mistaken identities. Oh, and doors … lots of doors.”

With the scene set, audiences meet the married couple Bernard (played by Bryan Brendle), rushing his wife out of the house, and Jaqueline (played by Maria Rodriguez-Sager), on her way to stay the weekend with her mother.

“At its base, (the play) involves a seductive plan for an adulterous weekend gone horribly wrong,” Contini said. “Bernard plans to seduce Suzanne (played by Kelly Criss) while his wife Jaqueline is out of town. Jaqueline’s plans change so Bernard asks his best friend Robert (played by Daniel Hilton) to pretend that Suzanne is Robert’s mistress and not his. But because everyone has secret dalliances and affairs going on they all have to keep pretending to be other people, depending on who’s in the room at the time. Mistaken identities then lead to further pretense and off it goes.”

Rounding out the cast are Shellie Delgado, who plays Suzette, the cook sent to prepare dinner for Bernard, Robert and Suzanne, and Christopher M. Watson, who plays Suzette’s husband.

Adding confusion to an already confused cast of characters, both Suzanne and Suzette are nicknamed Suzy.

“If people want a really fun show to celebrate spring this is it,” Contini said. “It’s that time of year when we are reminded of Cole Porter’s lyrics … ‘birds do it, bees do it’ … There’s no great lesson in this show. It is meant to raise some good chuckles and laughs.”

Dress code

There is no dress code at the Aurora, however the notion of having to “dress” for the theater can be a deterrent for some individuals. To help dispel this idea, and to add more fun to an already fun show, the Aurora is hosting themed nights of casual attire. They include:

• Saturday, May 3 — Sports Night, come in your favorite team’s gear

• Wednesday, May 7 — Fitness Night, in conjunction with Fleet Feet Sports of Lawrenceville, come straight from your workout or in your workout clothes

• Saturday, May 17 — Beach Night, come in beach attire

• Friday, May 23 — Pajama Night, come in your pajamas

For more information on the show, call the theater’s box office at 770-226-6222 or visit www.auroratheatre.com.