L-R: Elizabeth Heflin, Antoinette Robinson in “A Flea in Her Ear” – photography: Evan Krape
Westport Country Playhouse will stage the lavish, large-cast comedy, “A Flea in Her Ear,” newly adapted by David Ives from the original by Georges Feydeau, and directed by Mark Lamos, Westport Country Playhouse artistic director. Fresh from a sold-out run by Delaware’s Resident Ensemble Players (REP), a professional theater located at the University of Delaware, the co-production with the REP will run in Westport July 10 – 28.
“I’ve loved the brilliantly dizzy comedies of Georges Feydeau for many years,” said Lamos. “I was thrilled to be able to stage his most popular, ‘A Flea in Her Ear,’ for the REP, a resident company of finely tuned and versatile actors, who will repeat their success on the Playhouse stage.”
Lamos added, “Writing at the very beginning of the last century, Feydeau’s genius would inspire such artists as Max Sennet, Laurel and Hardy, and Charlie Chaplin, and continue to create laughter in productions around the world. Playwright David Ives has adapted the comedy with a touch that is as light as a soufflé and as physical as a ballet.”
Set in Paris in 1907, the bawdy bedroom comedy is about a Parisian wife who gets “a flea in her ear” that her husband is cheating on her. She turns to her best friend to help gain proof. Together, they compose an anonymous love note to set up a phony rendezvous, instigating a whirlwind of wild accusations, mistaken identities, and ribald misunderstandings.
L-R: Elizabeth Heflin, Lee E. Ernst, Stephen Pelinski in “A Flea in Her Ear” – photography: Evan Krape
Cast members are Deena Burke as Olympia (Delaware REP’s “Tartuffe,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Mousetrap,” “The Servant of Two Masters”); Hassan El-Amin as Dr. Finache (Delaware REP’s “Tartuffe,” “The Mountaintop,” “Clybourne Park”; regional theater’s “Dreamgirls”); Lee E. Ernst as Victor Chandebise/Poche (Delaware REP’s “Dial ‘M’ for Murder,” “You Can’t Take It with You”; regional theater’s “Cabaret”); Laura Frye as Eugenie (NYC’s “Othello,” “King Lear,” “Twelfth Night,” “Henry V,” “Hamlet”; Milan, Italy’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”); Michael Gotch as Don Carlos de Histangua (Delaware REP’s “Dial ‘M’ for Murder,” “The 39 Steps”; regional theater’s “Shakespeare’s R&J”); Robert Adelman Hancock as Rugby (London’s “Daddy Long Legs”; national tour of “Mamma Mia!”; television’s “Royal Pains”).
Also, Elizabeth Heflin as Raymonde Chandebise (Broadway’s “The Government Inspector”; national tour of “The Odd Couple”; The Old Globe’s “The Taming of the Shrew”); Mic Matarrese as Camille Chandebise (Delaware REP’s “Angels in America”; regional theater’s “Noises Off,” “A Streetcar Named Desire”); Carine Montbertrand as Antoinette (award-winning audiobook narrator; original solo show “Seven Devils and a French Nun”); Stephen Pelinski as Romain Tournel (Delaware REP’s “You Can’t Take It with You,” “Red,” “To Kill a Mockingbird”; over 40 roles with Guthrie Theater); John Rensenhouse as Ferraillon (Delaware REP’s “The Millionairess,” “Our Town,” “The Importance of Being Earnest”; national tour of “The Lion King”); and Antoinette Robinson as Lucienne Homenides de Histangua (Delaware REP’s “The Mountaintop”; Folger Theatre’s “As You Like It”; web series “The Great Black Way”).
Director Mark Lamos has helmed many plays at Westport Country Playhouse since 2008. His extensive New York credits include “Our Country's Good,” for which he received a Tony Award nomination. A former artistic director at Hartford Stage, he earned the 1989 Tony Award for the theater's body of work. He was awarded the Connecticut Medal for the Arts as well as honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, University of Hartford, and Trinity College. In 2016 he was the recipient of the John Houseman Award.
Playwright David Ives is perhaps best known for his evening of one-act plays, “All in the Timing,” and for his drama “Venus in Fur,” which was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play in 2012. His adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s classic comedy, “The Liar,” had a successful run at the Playhouse in 2015.
The design team includes Kristen Robinson, scenic design; Sara Jean Tosetti, costume design; Matthew Richards, lighting design; and Fitz Patton, sound design.
“A Flea in Her Ear” Production Sponsor is Czekaj Artistic Productions. Production Partners are Judy and Scott Phares.
Performance schedule is Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Special series feature Taste of Tuesday (July 10), LGBT Night OUT (July 12), Opening Night (July 14), Sunday Symposium (July 15), Together at the Table Family Dinner (July 17), Open Captions (July 22), Backstage Pass (July 25), Playhouse Happy Hour (July 26), and Thursday TalkBack (July 26).
Single tickets start at $30; buy early for best prices.
Upcoming productions at Westport Country Playhouse include “The Understudy,” August 14 – September 1, written by Theresa Rebeck and directed by David Kennedy, a backstage comedy about a Hollywood action star rehearsing for a role on Broadway amid tensions with his understudy; “Man of La Mancha,” September 24 – October 13, written by Dale Wasserman, music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion, and directed by Mark Lamos, the Tony Award-winning musical about Don Quixote’s battle for good and the love of his fair maiden; the world-premiere drama, “Thousand Pines,” October 30 – November 17, written by Matthew Greene and directed by Austin Pendleton, from WCP’s New Works Circle Initiative, bringing the national dialogue about gun violence to the Playhouse stage with a story set six months after a student killed his classmates at Thousand Pines Junior High School; and “The Pianist of Willesden Lane,” December 5 – 22, directed by Hershey Felder, a musical memoir about a young Jewish piano prodigy who escapes the Holocaust via Kindertransport to England. All play titles, artists, and dates are subject to change.
For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org, or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).