Arena's The Ladies Man Continues for Two More Weekends
In recent seasons, Arena Dinner Theatre has been producing some excellent work, bringing productions to their stage that are lesser known but audience pleasing. That continues with their current production, The Ladies Man, Charles Morey's adaptation of Georges Feydeau's bedroom farce. Director Sue Kahn was shown the script by Arena board member Gloria Minnich, who is also in the cast of The Ladies Man, and Kahn found it irresistible.
“The story is on the naughty side, in the tradition of French farces,” Kahn said. “It’s rich with fun situations and crazy characters. Gloria sent me the script. I had directed one for them last May, You Can’t Take It with You, and had done some other stuff with Arena. She sent it to me last summer, and I read it and started thinking about it.”
With auditions in early December, eight actors were cast in the show which had to be rehearsed around the holiday distractions. But the pros Kahn cast were up to that challenge.
“I could tell on the second night of auditions that things were already gelling,” Kahn said. “There was a certain something, and the actors all just came together right away. I knew it was funny, and we just took it from there.”
But there were challenges Kahn faced by the short turnaround, issues that were particular to this fast-paced show.
“There were challenges blocking because of all the antics that are going on and asking the cast to do all of that. There are also a lot of silly words and long lines. Kevin Knuth has a lot of long lines, and he has to say them fast. But it’s fun to watch, and every character is very funny.”
The Ladies Man opened last weekend and runs two more weekends through February 4 with a matinee this Sunday, January 29. The dinner part of Arena Dinner Theatre is particularly inviting, including some appropriately French offerings: Organic Greens Bistro Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette, Beef Burgundy with Roasted Root Vegetables (Tim Didier Meats)/ Portobello Burgundy with Roasted Root Vegetables (Vegetarian Option), Wild Rice Pilaf, Petite Pain Dinner Roll & Butter, and Vanilla Pudding Brûlée. But once the dishes are cleared, expect to laugh with the situations on the stage, as audiences last weekend discovered.
“We sold out both shows,” Kahn said, “and the audiences loved it.