International City Theatre Presents HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES, 4/30-5/23
Three couples, two dinner parties, one adulterous affair. International City Theatre presents How the Other Half Loves, the delicious comedy by Alan Ayckbourn that ingeniously juggles time and space to create a whirlwind of chaos, confusion and laughter. Todd Nielsen directs a four-week run April 30 through May 23, with low-priced previews beginning April 27.
In the madcap world of How the Other Half Loves, Bob Phillips (Adam J. Smith) is having an affair with Fiona (DeeDee Rescher). When it looks like Bob's wife (Jodi Fleisher), and Fiona's husband (Gregory North) are about to put two and two together, the guilty lovers use a third, unsuspecting couple (James May and Erin Anne Williams) as their alibi. The ensuing action leads to a string of misunderstandings with hilarious consequences.
What sets How the Other Half Loves apart from other farces is its unusual set: two living rooms in separate houses overlap on stage, allowing the audience to see and hear what's happening miles apart and at different points in time - including the frantically hilarious scene when we witness the hapless third couple as Thursday night dinner guests in one home and Friday night dinner guests in the other - with all of the action occurring on stage simultaneously.
"[The idea] came about when I was living in one of those soulless blocks of flats, identical boxes piled one on top of the other," explained Ayckbourn. "One or two friends lived in similar segments of this concrete honeycomb, and from time to time we visited one another. It became, I found, increasingly difficult purely because of the same-ness of the rooms and consequently identical furnishing arrangements, to remember whether you were in their house or your own. Particularly late at night, with the lights dimmed, mellowed with food and drink, you could have witnessed assorted couples, looking clandestinely at their watches, wishing the others would go home so they could go to bed. Each day, each of us, occupied more or less identical areas, trod the same well worn paths from kitchen to dining table, table to chair, chair to bed. It was a small step mentally, to superimpose one flat on another, emphasize the differences in the couples as they wove in and out of each other, pursuing their separate pleasures and traumas."
Sir Alan Ayckbourn is the author of over 73 plays such as Absurd Person Singular, Bedroom Farce, Just Between Ourselves, Otherwise Engaged, A Chorus of Disapproval, and Woman in Mind. His plays have been translated into 35 languages and won numerous national and international awards including the 2009 Tony for Best Revival of a Play for The Norman Conquests. He is the long serving Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, where all of his plays have premiered before moving to the West End or Broadway.
Todd Nielsen returns to ICT where he previously directed Frankie and Johnnie in the Claire de Lune, Ray Cooney's Tom, Dick and Harry, and HONK! Other directing credits: No Sex Please, We're British and Squabbles (Norris Theatre); Charlotte's Web (Nine O'Clock Players); White Christmas (Cabrillo Music Theatre); Lend Me A Tenor (Chapman University); Phantom (Moonlight Stage Prods, Vista CA); Ben Franklin in Paris (42nd Street Moon Theatre, San Francisco); Seesaw and Out of This World (Musical Theatre Guild); Plaid Tidings (Oregon Cabaret Theatre) Thoroughly Modern Millie (Welk Resort); and Resident Director for the National Tour of Disney's The Lion King. He has won awards, nominations and Critic's Choice status for several productions including On the Twentieth Century, City of Angels, Rags, The Diviners, Working, A New Brain, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, King of Hearts, The Robber Bridegroom, The Skin of Our Teeth and The Matchmaker.
Jodi Fleisher (Theresa Phillips) appeared at ICT in A Circus Christmas Carol. Regional theater credits: Hippolytos (Getty Villa); Othello (Theatricum Botanicum); Lend Me a Tenor (Sierra Repertory Theater); Desperate Writers (Edgemar Center for the Arts); The Nun and The Countess (Macha Theater Company); Henry IV, Part 1 & 2 (Knightsbridge Theater); 42nd Street aboard the Norwegian Dream, plus her ongoing role as Treasure in "Pirates Dinner Adventure."