John Vessels, Jillian Prefach, and Cary Wiger in Don’t Dress for Dinner. Photo-Derby Dinner.


Don’t Dress For Dinner

By Marc Camoletti

Adapted by Robin Hawdon 

Directed by Jim Hesselman 

Reviewed by Craig Nolan Highley

Entire contents copyright © 2014 by Craig Nolan Highley. All rights reserved. 

If you are looking for a funny, fast-paced sex farce to fill an evening, you could do worse than the latest production at Derby Dinner Playhouse.

Don’t Dress for Dinner utilizes some of the same characters from playwright Marc Camoletti’s other, funnier, and better known play Boeing Boeing for no clear reason, since the two shows don’t share any story threads. It tells the story of a married couple, both having extramarital affairs that their partners don’t know about. Their planned weekend of adultery goes awry when both spouses try to keep their respective rendezvous in the same house over the same weekend, starting with a dinner party and going downhill from there. 

There are quite a few genuinely funny moments to keep the audience entertained. The cast are well suited to the roles, especially Sara King as the bubbly Suzette, a gourmet chef inadvertently pulled into the melee. She beautifully channels Judy Holiday with her dumb (but no so dumb) blonde portrayal, and she’s not hard on the eyes either. John Vessels and Tina Jo Wallace are suitably smarmy as the sinful spouses, and the always reliable Cary Wiger and Jillian Prefach bring a lot of spunk to the extracurricular love interests. And late in the show Nick Fitzer has some hilarious moments as Suzette’s tough-guy husband.

As usual with the DDP, Lee Buckholz’s scenic design is marvelous, this time convincingly evoking a house-that-used-to-be-a-barn setting, and is nicely accented by Ron Breedlove’s moody lighting. Jim Hesselman’s direction keeps things moving at a steady pace. 

Overall the show is not as funny as Camoletti’s more familiar material, but it’s a diverting evening of entertainment. It certainly was a hit with the audience at the Saturday evening show I attended.

Don’t Dress For Dinner 

Featuring Nick Fitzer, Sara King, Jillian Prefach, John Vessels, Tina Jo Wallace, and Cary Wiger.

January 7 – February 16, 2014 

Derby Dinner Playhouse
525 Marriott Drive30
Clarksville, IN 47129
Tickets (812) 288-8281