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Long before Robin Williams masqueraded as “Mrs. Doubtfire” or Dustin Hoffman donned a wig and dress in “Tootsie,” Brandon Thomas wrote the classic cross-dressing comedy “Charley’s Aunt” that has been delighting British and American audiences for over a century.
Directed by Anne-Marie Roberts with assistant direction by Brodie H. Brockie and technical direction by Jessica Irvine, “Charley’s Aunt” runs March 17, 18, and 19 at Skyline High School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. each night.
Tickets are available at www.showtix4u.com for $8 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. Tickets will also be available at the door for $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.
“’Charley’s Aunt’ is the quintessential British farce,” said Roberts, explaining that they show isn’t just entertaining for the audience, it’s also educational for the participants. “Exposing the students to a gem of the British theater is one of the goals for educational theater.”
In this comedy, college chums Jack (Jianmarco Barbeau) and Charley (Jakub Hann) have fallen in love with Kitty (Leah Bauer) and Amy (Amanda Wilhoit), but can never spend time with them without the presence of their over-protective and overbearing guardian Mr. Spettigue (Riley O’Brian). When Charley gets word that his wealthy aunt is coming to visit, the boys see this as an opportunity to propose to the ladies with a kinder chaperone, but when they get word at the last minute that the aunt has been delayed, the plot to come up with another idea.
Enter Lord Fancourt Babberly (Theo Billups), another college friend of the boys who happens to have been roped into playing an old lady in a college play. Jack and Charley convince Babberly to put on his old lady costume and masquerade as Charley’s Aunt, hoping for a brief and simple deception until they can propose, but matters quickly and hilariously become more complicated than they could anticipate.
Rounding out the cast are Peter Dannug as Jack’s father, Sir Fancis; Madison Burk as wealthy widow, Donna Lucia De Alvadorez; Sonja Mittlestat as her young ward Ela; and Luke Wertenberger as Jack’s put-upon butler, Brasset.
“The play is timeless in that audiences today laugh just as hard as audiences did over 122 years ago identifying with the foibles and hijinks of the characters,” said Roberts.