When it’s your mistress’s birthday, what’s the best way to celebrate? Invite her to spend a weekend with you and your wife at your country home…and have her pretend to be your best friend’s date for the weekend! Think it can work? Not a chance, but the laughs compound from this situation in Curtain Call’s next production – Happy Birthday, playing in The Dressing Room Theatre March 3 through 20.
“I’m a sucker for a great door-slamming farce,” said Curtain Call executive director, Lou Ursone, in explaining his choice of this production. “When we produced Camoletti’s (the author) Boeing, Boeing a few years ago, I laughed along with our audiences every single night, so when I read this script, I knew we had to do it,” he added. Happy Birthday is a 1979 play from the French master of the bedroom farce, Marc Camoletti, adapted by Beverley Cross.
Like all farces, Happy Birthday is a combination of coincidences, mistaken identities, unlikely circumstances and too numerous attempts at righting a ship that is doomed to go down with laughter. The story: Bernard has foolishly asked his mistress, Brigit, to his home on her birthday despite the fact his wife Jacqueline is present. He has also invited his oldest friend, Robert, and asks him to pretend Brigit is his mistress. Robert refuses, as he is having an affair with Jacqueline, but Bernard cunningly involves him anyway. By chance, a temporary maid engaged for the evening arrives when Jacqueline and Bernard are out, and her name is also Brigit. Robert mistakes her for Bernard’s girlfriend. Frantic complications in which identities, plots, counter plots and bedrooms are exchanged with ever increasing confusion transpire until an unexpected ending makes everyone happy, including the maid, who has acquired a mink coat and lots of money. A long running success in London.
Seen here in rehearsal for HAPPY BIRTHDAY, the fabulous farce from Marc Camoletti playing in Curtain Call’s Dressing Room Theatre, March 3 through 20, are (rear) Caroline Osborn, Jim Muthersbaugh and Kimberley Lowden. (contributed photo)Happy Birthday is directed by Norwalk resident, John Atkin. The cast includes, Kimberley Lowden, Jim Muthersbaugh, Victoria Navarro, Caroline Osborn and Rob Rosado. Costume design is by Helen Adams with set design by Jamie Lajoie and Marc Ursone; lighting design by Lajoie and sound effects by John Zimmerman. The stage management team is Carol Foley and Martha Dombroski.
Performances will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00pm and Sunday afternoons at 2:00PM, from March 3 to 20. The Dressing Room Theatre is located at The Sterling Farms Theatre Complex, 1349 Newfield Avenue, Stamford, CT. Doors open one half hour before show time. Tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for senior citizens and $20 for children under 21. (Discounted Flex Pass subscriptions offer savings of 25% and more.) Box Office: 203-461-6358 or on the web at www.curtaincallinc.com.
Happy Birthday is produced in cooperation with The City of Stamford with support from the CT Office of the Arts and funding from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. It is produced through special arrangement with Concord Theatricals, NY, NY.
Curtain Call was voted Fairfield County’s BEST LOCAL THEATRE GROUP ten years running in the Annual Readers’ Poll of the Fairfield County Weekly and has received similar BEST OF awards from StamfordPlus magazine for 2008 through 2022 and Stamford magazine. Curtain Call received The Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2011 and the ACE Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture from the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County in 2016.