Hartford Stage Presents THE UNDERPANTS, Now thru 2/9

During rehearsals for The Underpants by Steve Martin, Hartford Stage administrators learned of plans for an "accidental" wardrobe malfunction. Horrified, the administrators noted that Hartford Stage does not condone wardrobe malfunctions of any kind.

Meanwhile, the Artistic Department at Hartford Stage made their own announcement by way of a note slipped under a dressing room door. The note said, "Hartford Stage, in association with Long Wharf Theatre, will kick-off 2014 with Steve Martin's outrageously funny spin on The Underpants, adapted from the play by Carl Sternheim and directed by Long Wharf Theatre Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein." The show will play here only four weeks, today, January 9 through February 9.

And yes, apparently a very public wardrobe malfunction will become the talk of the town in Martin's ribald take on this uproarious German farce - chock-full of sexual innuendo and verbal jousting. The same production played at Long Wharf this fall and attracted exceedingly large audiences and rave reviews. The Hartford Courant said, "Didi Conn (Frenchy in Grease, TV's "Benson") gets her laughs with knowing winks and exquisite timing." The New Haven Register proclaimed, "Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin) lets his goofy genius, both naughty and nice, run amok," and Hartford Examiner called the comedy "a giddy romp with a brain and a heart."

To get your 'Underpants,' visit www.hartfordstage.org, or call the Box Office at 860-527-5151.

The Underpants is an adaptation of German playwright Carl Sternheim's 1911 farce called Die Hose. Martin's version of the play debuted in 2002 at the Classic Stage Company in New York. "Sternheim's play is ribald, self-referential, and quirky. I hope I have retained those elements and assured my place in heaven - I mean, served the playwright's intentions," Martin wrote in his introduction to the play.

The cast of The Underpants includes George Bartenieff (Another Life, London; 1931, Regroup Theatre); Didi Conn (Frenchy, Grease; TV's "Benson" and "You Light Up My Life"); Jenny Leona (Fire.Water.Night, Ellen Stewart Theater; Little Murders, The Bootleg Theater); Jeff McCarthy (Chicago, Broadway; Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, National Tour); Burke Moses (Original Broadway cast of Beauty and the Beast; The Sound of Music, Toronto); and Steve Routman (Pipe Dream, Encores!; The Shaggs, Playwrights Horizons).

The creative team features set design by Lee Savage (A Christmas Carol, Ford's Theatre Society; Sunset Baby, LAByrinth); costume design by Jess Goldstein (Too Much, Too Much, Too Many, Roundabout Underground; Snow Falling on Cedars, Hartford Stage); lighting design by Robert Wierzel (Luna Gale, Goodman Theatre; Arcadia, American Conservatory Theater); and sound design by David Budries (Twelfth Night and The Tempest, Hartford Stage; Hello, Dolly!, Ford's Theatre Society). Melissa M. Spengler is the Stage Manager.

Information and Special Events

  • Press Night: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 15
  • Opening Night: 8 p.m. on Friday, January 17

Dinner + Design
On Wednesday, January 15, a member of the Hartford Stage design team shares what it takes to create the theatrical worlds of our season. Learn more about the magic that happens backstage while enjoying a pre-show dinner. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. before the 7:30 curtain. Reservations required. Event tickets are $25.

The Producer's Table
On Thursday, January 23, Managing Director Mike Stotts hosts a pre-show dinner, where he gives you a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce a play. The tour will begin at 5:45 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. before the 7:30 p.m. curtain. Reservations required. Event tickets are $25. Please note, this is an UPPER LOBBY event, accessible only by stairs.

LGBT Night Out!
On Thursday, January 16, please join us for a pre-show nosh and complimentary wine (plus drink specials at the bar) for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patrons. Special guests for LGBT Night Out! will be the True Colors organization. Event begins at 6:15 p.m. before the 7:30 p.m. curtain. The reception is free with purchase of a ticket for that evening's performance.

AfterWords Discussion
Join members of the cast and our Artistic staff for a free discussion, immediately following the 7:30 p.m. performances on Tuesday, January 21 and 28, or the 2 p.m. performances on Wednesday, January 22 and 29. Free.

Sunday Afternoon Discussion
Enjoy a lecture from artists and scholars connected with the production immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, January 19. Free.

The production runs January 9 through February 9, 2014. Evening performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday matinee performances at 2 p.m.; and select Wednesday and Saturday matinees are at 2 p.m.

Tickets for all shows start at $25. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more and for students (recommended for ages 16 and up). For a more specific schedule of performances or to buy tickets for The Underpants, please call the Hartford Stage box office at 860-527-5151 or visit www.hartfordstage.org.

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