French farce keeps Valley Players bedroom hopping
By Cynthia Bombach Helzel
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Toss seven adults with varying intentions together in one apartment, stir in some madcap comedy, and what do you get? “In One Bed and Out the Other,” a French farce that has three men and four women jumping out of and under the covers with each other in endless combinations of mistaken identity. The fast-paced play will be performed by the Valley Players this weekend and next at the Ligonier Theatre.
The play is set in the Paris apartment of Gaston and Huguette Dubois, whose stale marriage leaves them both hungry for excitement. To that end, Gaston has begun an affair with a young lady named Clara, who doesn't realize that Gaston is married.
Meanwhile, “Maurice,” whose real name is Didier, arrives with the claim that he needs to occupy the apartment for a while in order to win back his former lady love. When Clara arrives to tell Gaston that she is now free to consummate their relationship, Huguette assumes that she is “Maurice's” beloved. Add the Dubois' butler, who is the real Maurice, his fiancee, Rosine, and his chaste maiden aunt, Alice, and chaos ensues as everybody ends up getting in and out of bed with the wrong person — or persons.
“It's about mistaken identities,” director Jim Mikula says. “The person they think is there isn't there, and they don't get the person they want.”
Despite the adult-sounding subject matter, nothing overtly sexual ever occurs. “There is sexual suggestion with people jumping into bed, but nothing ever happens,” Mikula says. There are scenes in which some of the women are wearing negligees, but there is no nudity and “no unacceptable language,” he adds.
Terry Westwood of Monroeville plays Gaston Dubois, the married man at the center of the play. Westwood is new to acting, and finds the brisk pace of the farce to be an exhilarating challenge.
“There's a lot of dialogue, and it's fast-paced,” he says. “Everybody is trying to get in bed with somebody, but everybody ends up with someone else.”
“In One Bed and Out the Other” is Westwood's first show with the Valley Players. “Everybody has been so wonderful,” he says. “I'm having a lot of fun.”
Gaston's wife, Huguette, is played by Rosie Wolford of Latrobe. She agrees with Westwood that the hardest part of the show is keeping up the speed with which the lines are delivered. “Every actor has to be able to deliver their lines quickly and accurately, because they all feed off of each other,” she says.
The role of Huguette marks Wolford's return to the Ligonier Theatre stage after an eight-year hiatus. “It seemed like a fun show in general,” she says. “It's light and entertaining. It will be an enjoyable evening of entertainment and laughter.”
Westwood says the show would make a great date night. “It's going to be Valentine's week, and it's marital hijinks,” he says. “It's funny and romantic, and it all turns out good.”
Cynthia Bombach Helzel is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
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