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Hot show to complement hot summer

By APRILL BRANDON
Sept. 15, 2010 at 4:15 a.m.
Updated Sept. 16, 2010 at 4:16 a.m.

There's more than just dinner being cooked up during "Don't Dress for Dinner," the latest production of Theatre Victoria. From left, are Russell Fowler and Kathryn Reynolds.

IF YOU GO"Don't Dress for Dinner" will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday and Sept. 23-25 at the Leo J. Welder Center. Tickets are available by calling 361-570-8587 or online at www.theatrevictoria.org.

AUDITIONSTheatre Victoria has announced open auditions for its third show of the season "Christmas Belles."

Directed by Charles Moster, the show calls for a cast of seven women and four men, ages 18-70.

Auditions will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the Leo J. Welder Center, 214 N. Main St. Scripts can be obtained at the Welder Center box office. Performances for the show will be Nov. 12-14 and 18-20.

It's been one long, hot summer. Even hotter, however, is the latest Theatre Victoria production "Don't Dress for Dinner."

"It's a very sexy show, the sexiest show we've got going this year," producing artistic director Charles Moster said. "It's definitely hot, which is perfect timing. It's hot outside, and we've got a hot show inside."

The comedy centers around a seemingly happy couple in Paris, who in classic European style, are both having extramarital affairs. One weekend, it all comes to a head when the couple, plus their various paramours, stay at their farmhouse. Directed by Karen Locher, the show features a cast of six actors, ranging from veterans to first-timers.

"Hot. That's a good way to describe it. The subject matter is hot," said Brett Jones, who plays Robert in the show. "Everyone is having an affair with everyone else, and if they aren't, they think they are."

Jones, who is a longtime veteran of the theater, described his character as the type of guy you shouldn't like, but you do.

"He's smarmy, but it's funny to watch him be that way. He's having an affair with his best friend's wife, and because of that, you don't want to like him. But you do because of the way he does everything," he added. "The show is a farce, which is a different level of comedy. This type of humor is right up Victoria's alley. They like to pretend they don't like racy, but they do."

Laura Saenz Garrett, who plays the woman Robert is having the affair with, agreed that the show is racy, but in a good way.

"Hot, that's a good way to put it. There's affairs, mistresses, lovers, all these situations," she said, adding that her character is flawed, yet lovable.

Although she's been acting in the theater for more than a decade, this show also marks a personal milestone for Garrett. Three months ago, the actress had thyroid surgery and thought she was going to lose her voice. She decided to audition for the show as a way to get her voice back and exercise it.

"There's a huge difference now from where I was in terms of the strength of my voice. This is a great show to come back to," Garrett said. "Karen is a great director, and the cast has been very supportive throughout the ordeal."

For Kathryn Reynolds, who plays the spoiled model/actress/mistress Susan, "Don't Dress for Dinner" was a way for her to expand beyond her typical good girl roles, she said.

"It's so much fun. I've never gotten to play a bad girl. I'm usually the girl next door, but she's scandalous. It's giving me a chance to flex my acting muscles," she added.

More so than than the scandalous aspect, however, what truly makes "Don't Dress for Dinner" a stand out this season is the great script, Moster said.

"It's absolutely hysterical. Every year, it's important to choose one work that really hits the funny bone, and this show definitely fits those guidelines," he added. "With something like this, you want the audience to laugh early and loudly, and I think this will deliver. I'm looking forward to seeing the reaction. While it's important to put on dramatic works, it's also nice to see everyone leaving the theater with a smile on their face."

"Don't Dress for Dinner" begins Friday at the Leo J. Welder Center, where a public cast party will be held immediately following opening night. The show continues on Saturday and Sunday as well as Sept. 23-25.

Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and $14 for students and groups. For tickets, call 361-570-8587 or visit www.theatrevictoria.org.

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