Swingin’ Sixties Come in Form of Play

The swingin’ sixties were back at UNH this week with the theater department’s rendition of A Flea In Her Ear, a sex farce set in the 1960s in Paris between a sketchy hotel, The Hotel Pussy á Go-Go and Victor Deboshe’s living room. Flea was originally written in 1902 by George Feydeau, the father of the modern farce, and was translated by Frank Galati for a theater in Chicago.

The show opens up in the living room of insurance agent Victor Deboshe (Jeremy Tortora). Madame Yvonne Deboshe (Sonnie Lebbing) calls for long time friend Lucille Homenides de Histangua (Sally Nieborsky) when she has a “flea in her ear” that there is someone else in Monsieur’s life; when in reality it is just a sexual fear from a play. Together the two hatch a plan to try and catch him by sending a fake love letter to rendezvous at the Hotel Pussy á Go-Go. Things run awry when Monsieur believes someone has mistaken his identify and has his friend, business partner and madame Deboshe’s mutual love interest Maurice Blasé (Ben Moody) go in his place. Along with these characters we meet Doctor Panache (Nicholas Theodoseau), Deboshe’s  insurance company’s doctor as he is forced to give some advice to the Deboshe’s butler Perrier (Ryan Flanagan). We also learn about the Perrier’s wife Nanette (Holly Stadzcuk) fellow servant to the Deboshes and her affair with the “innocent, chaste” Claude Deboshe (David Iannacone), the Deboshe’s nephew and secretary who has a sever speech impediment due to an upper pallet defect making his speech undecipherable. But then things really get messed up when Carlos Homenides de Histangua (Alyssa Biggs) finds the note that was written by his wife for madam Deboshe for monsieur Deboshe. He promises to put a bullet through anyone he catches with her and sparing her no mercy either.
Madam Deboshe, being the first to arrive at the Hotel Pussy A Go-Go, meets some of the colorful characters there, including the “Colonel” Henri Martinet (Joseph Francisco) who owns the fine establishment where if married men weren’t faithful they would be out of business, along with his love interest  and assistant at the hotel Olympia (Amanda Pamulo). We also meet two most interesting characters of all Benedictine (Matthew Mendoza) and Maher Ravvi (Kenneth Bragen). Benedictine is a drinking, arthritic, shaking uncle of the colonel whose only job is to lay in bed and (when the panic button gets pressed) arrive on the revolving bed to save the day with his two go-go dancers (Rebekah Gordon and Sara McGuire). While Maher Ravvi is an exotic from the far East waiting for his rendezvous that seems to never come but creates hijinx when the rest of the crew shows up. Things get really crazy when Maurice shows up instead of Victor! But wait here is where things really get crazy! There seems to be a bellboy/servant named Goshe (Jeremy Tortora) working at the hotel who looks strikingly like Deboshe. It turns into a game of hide and seek as more friends show up diving in and out of rooms trying to avoid husbands, and figure things out especially when monsieur Deboshe arrives. Now everyone is screwed up thinking that Deboshe is Goshe and Goshe is Deboshe with no one able to tell the difference. Then of course you always have the good ol’ doc’ running around with the maid of the hotel Babette (Lauren Aceto) .

We then return to the Deboshe’s living room. Everyone is in sheer confusion because of the whole Goshe-Deboshe look a-like situation. Then Goshe shows up looking for his hotel uniform because he is wearing Deboshe’s jacket, while Deboshe is wearing his uniform. This throws everyone from madam Deboshe through all of her friends and even the doctor through a loop. They all believe that it is Deboshe and try to cure him of some kind of drug and alcohol amnesia. Everyone is running around trying to figure things out even as the real Deboshe comes in. It isn’t until the colonel shows up and they spot Goshe in the garden below and Deboshe in the room that they realize what had happened. Madam Deboshe finds out about the whole movie incident that had freaked out Monsieur and set this whole mess into action.

This show was amazing. Anyone who missed it is gonna be kicking themselves in the butt for a while. The cast and crew have done an amazing job this show.The past two months for these folks have really paid off with such amazing performances. If you missed it you probably missed one of the funniest shows that UNH has done. Congratulations to the cast and crew for that excellent show. Now I can’t wait to see what they do next.