Dinner dress not recommended

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Tom Szalay

Special to the Western News

That cheating “bastard,” “swine” and “rat.” Bernard returns to the SOAP stage in Oliver and Osoyoos with his wife Jacqueline and best friend Robert for another evening of lies, confusion and hilarity. Those names will be familiar to SOAP Theatre fans that saw Marc Camoletti’s Boeing, Boeing on stage in November.

Related: Oliver play ready to jet-set onto stage

Don’t Dress for Dinner is Mr. Camoletti’s “saucy” sequel to last fall’s bedroom romp, and will be staged  by SOAP Theatre Society at the OSS Theatre in Osoyoos on Jan. 27-28 before moving to the Frank Venables theatre in Oliver on Feb. 3-4. Curtain time for all shows is 7:30 pm.

Several years have passed since Bernard (Trevor Leigh) married his favourite fiance, Jaqueline (Jackie  Brockholm) and moved to a converted farmhouse outside Paris. With Jacqueline off to visit her mother, Bernard is salivating over the idea of a weekend romp with his mistress, Suzanne (Louise Szalay). It’s foolproof. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, Bernard’s old pal Robert (Craig Bjornsen) is also invited to supply an alibi. But unbeknownst to Bernard, Robert is having an affair with Jacqueline, who swiftly cancels on mother when she gets wind of her paramour’s arrival.

The prime source of the play’s accelerating confusion is Suzette (Angela Stuart), a Cordon Bleu chef hired by Bernard for the evening. Given Suzanne and Suzette’s similar names, Robert initially assumes Suzette is Bernard’s mistress and passes her off as his date to cover for his friend. By the time he wises up, it’s too late to correct the mistake without exposing either his own hanky-panky or his buddy’s.

Unfazed by the eccentricities of her clients, Suzette is happy to play along and pose as Robert’s girlfriend, niece or whatever, extorting additional payments from both men for each fresh layer of deception, including having to pretend to be the mistress while the mistress is unable to cook.

​An evening of hilarious confusion ensues as Bernard and Robert improvise at breakneck speed, to be interrupted only by arrival of a gruff and suspicious George (Bryan Sykes), to pick up his wife, Suzette at the end of her evening catering engagement.

Nathan Linders is back to direct his third performance for SOAP.

“I have been most fortunate to work with this great cast … a lively mix of seasoned professional and amateur actors (Mr. Leigh, Mr. Bjornsen), recent SOAP additions (Ms. Brockholm, Ms. Szalay) and newcomers (Ms. Stuart, Mr. Sykes).”

Tickets for Don’t Dress for Dinner are $22.50 in advance or $25 at the door. Students (with ID) get in for $15.00.

Buy your discounted advance tickets at any of the following outlets: online through www.venablestheatre.ca by phone at 250-498-1626 or in person at the Venables Theatre box office at 6100 Gala St. in Oliver.

Tickets also available at Your Dollar Store With More (Osoyoos shows only) and Sundance Video (Oliver Shows Only).



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