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NLT opening Steve Martin comedy

Natchez Little Theatre’s next production is the hysterical farcical comedy, Steve Martin’s “The Underpants.”

This hilarious show will run at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and closes with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets are $15 for non-members and should be reserved in advance, even if you are a member/sponsor of Natchez Little Theatre.

For reservations, call 601-442-2233 or 1-877-440-2233 or guarantee your reservations by purchasing them online at natcheztheatre.org.

Steve Martin’s contemporary adaptation of Carl Sternheim’s 1910 farce “Die Hose” has been further adapted by Natchez Little Theatre. NLT’s production, directed by Don Vesterse, sets the German farce in Washington D.C. in 1909, during the final year of President Teddy’s Roosevelt’s last term in office.

This turn-of-the-century sex farce is a laugh-out-loud satire on bourgeois manners and customs that shows 1909 to be as naughty as today. “The Underpants” is full of sexual innuendo and verbal jousting and sends up the absurdity of instant fame. It opened in April 2002, at Classic Stage Company, Off-Broadway, in New York City.

Theo Maske, played by NLT award-winning actor Bo Allen, is a stuffed shirt government bureaucrat. When his young wife, Louise, played by NLT award-winning actress Susannah Heathery, accidently drops her ‘unmentionables’ at President Roosevelt’s parade, his world becomes chaotic. NLT veteran actor Charlie Vess once again assumes the character of President Teddy Roosevelt.

Theo doesn’t know how to handle the lavish amount of male attention Louise suddenly receives. Things take a decidedly amorous turn as would-be suitors, played with hysterical results by Rusty Jenkins, Derek Braswell and Ananias Green, rent a room in the couple’s Georgetown Townhouse, and a nosey upstairs neighbor, played superbly by Shemeka Ware, attempts to live vicariously through Louise.

There will be a benefit performance of “The Underpants” at 7 p.m. Wednesday for NLT’s Building Fund, as NLT is having to put a new roof on our home of 44 years. Tickets are only $10, with all proceeds from the ticket sales and the gratuities from the complimentary pre-show and intermission bar going toward the new roof, which will be installed before the end of the year.

This show is hilarious and will have the town talking with the over-the-top performances by some of NLT’s best actors and talented newcomers. I designed and built the sets. Though the theme of the show is mature, there is no bad language, just a lot of grown-ups acting silly and sparring verbally with lots of innuendo.

NLT’s box office and auditorium open an hour prior to each performance. Don’t miss Steve Martin’s “The Underpants” as only NLT can do it!

Don Vesterse is director of “The Underpants.”