Charles Morey

 
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The Ladies Man Reviews

Geva Theatre Center 

April 7 - May 3, 2009

Extended through May 10!


"... delirious absurd madness ... giving us the opportunity to laugh in abandon for two full hours. ... simply brilliant, a comic confection ... Ooh la, la, I loved every minute of it."

Marcia Morphy

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 


"Classic French farce ... a brilliant example of the strengths of the art form ... And man, Act II is gold. The scene shifts from Molineaux's office-apartment to an abandoned dressmaker's shop, where all of the characters collide literally and figuratively. Things quickly devolve into broad physical comedy, bawdy double-entendres, a series of increasingly bizarre misunderstandings, over-the-top reactions, and a madcap chase sequence that features every one of the set's five doors (and a secret turntable) being put to brilliant use. It's a fantastic sequence that's tightly directed and choreographed, expertly acted, and features all of the hallmarks of a great farce."

Eric Resnyak

 City Newspaper

"A laugh a minute"

Jack Garner

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Columnist 


Indiana Repertory Theatre 

 March 3-22, 2009


"... a comic minefield ... threats to the established order detonate throughout "The Ladies Man", but it's the energy poured into escaping the explosions that's as satisfying as the eventually restored equilibrium ... this sort of theatre demands machine-tooled craftsmanship which this cast steadily supplies under the direction of the adapter, Charles Morey ... the tension filled marriage of a bourgeois doctor and his much younger wife endures a series of disasters, nudged  at the start like a row of dominoes whose fall picks up speed through two hilarious acts ... a vivid period flavor, giving room for all the characters to make their very one-dimensionality seem endearing and almost profound."

Jay Harvey

The Indianapolis Star


"It's time to take off your Hat of Plausibility and just sit, watch and enjoy the show ... This light hearted frantic comedy is full of double entendres, misunderstandings, lots of running around, terrible accents (puposely terrible) and lost of sex jokes ... plenty of laughs throughout. The second act is indeed a marvel in choreography and timing, with the action of a Keystone Cops film, the fun sexuality of the English "Carry On" series, the energy of a Benny Hill short ... will keep you cracking up."

Tim Cabeen

Indianapolis Theatre Examiner


"...delightful ... frothy and fun ... Watching this show is like watching the intricate inner workings of an expensive pocket watch or an elaborate mousetrap. It is fascinating because it is perfectly balanced and timed. It is funny, I think, because it involves, after all, human beings, who are not, actually, machines but rather a bit messy and unpredictable."

Indy Theatre Habit


"... fast paced romp ... the story veers wildly to it's hilarious conclusion..." 

WTTS   


"... my happy cackle could be heard above a house full of laughter ..."

 NUVO

"Sometimes it's great to see a show like "The Ladies Man." It's refreshing to laugh at frivolous mis-understandings ... the Indiana Repertory Theatre has reminded audiences that it is not only OK to laugh while at the theater, it is encouraged! ... With slamming doors and swirling skirts the characters fly through each scene compounding the confusion ... Don't Miss the Show."

Stage Write

"... a laugh a minute amalgam of goofy situations."

Good Times and Bad


"... dances the tightrope between hilarity and absurdity while keeping the surprised audience in stitches."

Mike Magan, Smaller Indiana


SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY
May 31- August 31, 2008


After the body blow that was … “Othello”, it was a relief to be allowed to consider the consequences of jealousy, embodied by many of the same cast members, in a much lighter vein that evening. “The Ladies Man”, also at the Founder’s theatre through Aug. 31, is Charles Morey’s free-handed adaptation of Georges Feydeau’s “Tailleur Pour Dames.” This shaggy-poodle story of a Parisian Doctor (Jonathan Croy) wrongly suspected of infidelity by his much younger wife is Feydeau at his absolute silliest, the sort of play in which a maze lurks behind every door, and cases of mistaken identity multiply like mayflies. But the cast members romped through their assorted poses, chases and compromising positions with an unstinting physicality … What a relief, though, to have the twisting, accelerating course of jealousy explode not into self-flagellation and murder but into an inexplicable yet oddly appropriate version of the cancan. If only Othello had learned to unwind at the Moulin Rouge.
Ben Brantley
The New York Times

…a friendly five door farce in the good-humored American manner…the dramatic gears mesh as soon as the doors start slamming and the result is a most effective vehicle… screws the comic tension up to an excitingly shrill pitch in the second act, then discharges it in an explosion of inspired craziness… I can’t recall the last time I laughed so hard…
Terry Teachout
The Wall Street Journal

A wickedly funny French Farce… Shakespeare & Co has a rollicking hit on its hands… What an evening of theatre! It begins innocently enough with a muffled laugh here, a chuckle there. Soon waves of laughter start to roll through the audience. Comedy has returned to the Berkshires thanks to this wonderful new play… one of the funniest plays I have seen in years, possibly decades… honest to god belly laughs. I have been living on a bland diet of comedic kibble bits but this, this my friends, is the filet mignon. Otherwise sensible adults were… doubled over in sheer enjoyment, helpless against the comedic onslaught… French and English humor are distinctly different, but amazingly Morey brings the two very different aesthetics together with panache… The second act takes place in a dressmaker’s shop… by this point the audience is roaring and screaming… a wild and hilarious theatrical roller coaster ride … bring your own seat belt. This is as close to ROTFL (Rolling on the floor laughing) as you will probably ever experience…
Larry Murray
Berkshire Fine Arts

… Morey has devised one of the most boisterous, outrageous, slapstick plays ever to have graced the Founder’s stage … While the entire play is a gem, the second act steals its own show… hysterically wild … As an audience member one can be gleeful and not regret the fact that … many of the witty double entendre lines one missed because the audience was roaring over the one that preceded it… The play is outrageously boisterous and bawdy but needs no x rating. Youngsters would enjoy the slapstick played at double tempo and the double entendre word play should go breezily over their heads.
Frances Benn Hall
Berkshires Culture and Entertainment

Playwright Charles Morey has … created a play that is hysterical from the moment the lights go up… time really does fly when you’re having this much fun.
J. Peter Bergman
Berkshire Bright Focus

The Ladies Man at Shakespeare and Co. seduced me with its hysterical, if hollow, charms…I kept thinking that I was watching a staged version of a long-lost  Marx Brothers screenplay…This is not one of those plays that changes your life or stays with you for very long, which makes it perfect for this uneasy moment in history when nothing feels better than laughing out loud. The Ladies Man is the theatrical equivalent of a banana split – over the top, unnecessary , and delightful.
Dan Shaw
Rural Intelligence

The Ladies Mani is a bona fide Laugh Riot. You start laughing as soon as the lights go down and you are still laughing when they come back up after the curtain call. This production, wittily directed by Kevin G. Coleman, is fall down, wet your pants, laugh ‘til your sides hurt funny.
Gail M. Burns
GailSez.Com

Are you ready for summer vacation? …The Ladies Man is a romp through the misunderstandings of a young wife and her older doctor-husband… Commence the opening and slamming of doors, mistaken identities and double entendres that define the genre of farce.
Meisha Rosenberg
Metroland (Albany, NY)

Fast, Funny, French farce… this season it’s the fast (very fast) and funny (very funny) The Ladies Man… Farces are generally not my cup of tea, but the script for “ladies Man” seems more solidly constructed than most, and the speed and gleeful dare-devil acrobatics of the cast won me over.
Chesley Plemmons
News Times  (Danbury, CT.)

“The Ladies Man” is a fun, five-door farce… alliterations abound. Identities are mistaken. And entendres are doubled. … Anyone looking for sheer escapism paired with gently lascivious humor will find it…
Michael Eck
Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union

…a laugh riot… proceeds at a madcap, sometimes dizzying, wondrous pace…  The Ladies Man, oftentimes over the top with slapstick antics provides ample opportunity for catharsis.
Fred Sokol
Talkin’ Broadway

… a delightfully low-brow farce… five doors, infidelities, mistaken identities, naughty upper class protagonists and equally frisky servants. Wordplay abounds, innuendo permeates and slap-stick compounds… the performers deliver escalating laughs as lies and misunderstandings grow to monstrous proportions. The breathless scene leaves the audience sated…
Jonathan Levine
Pittsfield Gazette

…a  solid good time… in farce as in life, sometimes it’s best to just let the laughter flow… slamming doors, double entendres, stock characters, and absurd misunderstandings… enough giggles and gags along the way to make for an adequately entertaining evening…
Louise Kennedy
The Boston Globe

Extremely funny …“The Ladies Man” is a lot of fun – with a couple of hours of laughs…
Ron Lee
WBRK Radio


This is one comedy you won't want to miss this summer, but be prepared to laugh so hard your sides will hurt.
North Adams Transcript

“The Ladies Man” is playing all summer and I'm thinking of going back.
Berkshire Record

Charles Morey’s “The Ladies Man” (based on the work of Feydeau) treats the audience to non-stop comedy … The extremely talented ensemble … must be having the time of their lives, which is certainly contagious to the audience.
Shera Cohen
In the Spotlight

PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY
January 7- 27, 2007

“The Ladies Man”... boils over with the classic earmarks of period farce, echoing throughout with slamming doors, unbelievable white lies, lost wives and mistaken identities ... the hilarious stage business of the second act involving a revolving bed in a dress-maker’s studio – which serves as a blender for all the comedy’s plot lines – is worth the price of admission. ... the show plays as a kind of greatest hits of farce conventions ... Here’s hoping the play ... can become ... a bona fide regional theatre block-buster.
Ellen Fagg
The Salt Lake Tribune

Delightful action in “Ladies Man” ...The plot, cleverly adapted from “The Ladies Dressmaker” and other Feydeau gems, is pure silliness. The cast is an uproarious delight.
Ivan Lincoln
The Deseret News


CREEDE REPERTORY THEATRE / ARVADA CENTER

Creede's the real deal. This summer, six of its shows were Colorado premieres. "The Ladies Man" is directed by former Denver Center Theatre Company resident playwright Nagle Jackson. It features John Arp and Michael Bouchard — both winners of Denver Post Ovation Awards for best year by an actor. And in this silly French farce, lisping castmate Chad Afanador steals the show right out from under both their noses. Adapted from Georges Feydeau's original, this romp centers on a middle-aged doctor who strays from his nubile wife, setting in motion a fast-paced succession of mistaken identities, randy entendres and oh-so-many slamming doors. If only Viagra were available in 19th-century Paris
, this all could have been avoided. It's a superfluous lark that, believe me, is a lot harder to pull off than it looks.
JohnMoore
Denver Post

One is reminded of a decadently rich French pastry - the kind with delicious custard filling that goes down effortlessly. But this is an illusion because while it seems on the surface to be a totally silly farce, "the Ladies Man" requires precise choreography and split second timing by true professionals or it could not come off well at all. ... the playwright's wry look at human interactions affords almost non-stop chuickles ... Doors slam continulaly, identities shift, costumes malfunction and somehow, no one crashes into another actor during this light, entertaining confection.
Sonya Ellingboe
Colorado Community Newspapers

American adaptation of France's "The Ladies man" is a magnum farce ... Morey has done a nice job of communicating Feydeau's wit and tone. He's also worked out a plot that moves faster and faster by the minute, one in which every piece must click into place as satisfactorily as a key turning in a well-oiled lock. The script is literate with lots of word-smacking wordplay.
Juliet Wittman,
Wordplay
...will keep you laughing even after leaving the theatre.
Mineral County Miner 
               
CLACKAMAS REPERTORY THEATRE
 
If you like fast paced, fun-filled farce of the Feydeau variety, you're sure to be pleased with the Clackamas Repertory Theatre production of "The Ladies Man"... build(s) to a totally chaotic crescendo in Act II ... this is farce at its craziest ... full of frothy fun ... one can't help but have a good time.
The Portland Oregonian
SHADOWLAND THEATRE

SHADOWLAND THEATRE

Not only is this play as funny as you'll ever find, but with a combination of superb action and madcap choreography... the Sunday afternoon performance captured all the zaniness of the script with pizzazz to spare...For belly aching laughs, "The Ladies Man" is not to be missed.
Marcus Kalipolites
Times Herald-Record

A side splitting French farce ... among the best farces ever to be produced at Shadowland ... an ambitious, fascinating and yes, absurd and ridiculous piece of theatre, that is above all entertaining and rich in the classical tradition... You do not want to miss this show!
Carol Montana
Catskill Chronicle
CENTENARY STAGE COMPANY

What a pleasure it is to be able to recommend without reservation the Centenary Stage Company's hilarious and expert production of The Ladies Man. It has been "Freely Translated and Adapted" by Charles Morey from Tailleur Pour Dames (The Ladies Dressmaker) by the grand master of farce, Georges Feydeau. A bit from Feydeau's super A Flea in Her Earis tossed in for good measure.
 
The time is around the turn of the (20th) century. The setting is the parlor area of the residence of Dr. Molineaux, which serves as the office for his medical practice. The good doctor lives here with his very young wife, Yvonne, to whom he has been wed for one year. Finding himself to have become impotent, the doctor has taken to sleeping in his office apart from Yvonne. When Yvonne discovers that the doctor has been out overnight, she decides that it is because he is being unfaithful to her. The flummoxed Dr. Molineaux has not been able to acknowledge his problem to his young wife, and, although he has not been unfaithful, the truth about his overnight absence is not easily explained. Yvonne awaits the arrival and counsel of her man-hating, domineering mother, and an amorous patient and her jealous Prussian officer husband on their way to impose themselves. Dr. Molineaux concocts a series of lies to explain his actions, setting in motion a parade of farcical events (mistaken identities, intentions and behaviors; lustful behavior; and the hi-jinks of risible close encounters as the players dash in and out of the five on stage doors) while he endeavors ever more desperately to save his marriage.
 
There is an eloquence and elegance to this play and production, which sets it apart from the disappointment which several recent farcical plays and their productions have brought. Although they are intertwined and cannot be completely separated, high level farce and slapstick occupy different places on a spectrum. On the low end of the spectrum, slapstick is rough, loud, and pain inducing, with accompanying dialogue that is blunt and inelegant. On the farcical end of the spectrum, the physical movement, and the facial and bodily movement is precise and controlled: there is subtle, observable thought and contemplation as the performer registers facial and physical reactions. The accompanying verbal humor is precise, witty and clever. To put it another way, it is the difference between The Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers.
 
Credit Charles Morey with a fine adaptation that is very dexterous in using colloquial English to generate laughter in words which clearly deviate widely from the French original. It is difficult to follow all the late twists and chases. No matter what others have said, not being able to do so reduces one's satisfaction.
 
It seems almost miraculous that Director-Actor Carl Wallnau has been able to capture so much of the too rarely seen classic farce style. Thus, Wallnau must accept the lion's share of the credit for the production's success. As Dr. Hercule Molineaux, Wallnau is stylish and more than willing to make a perfect foil for his fellow cast members. Liz Zazzi is a perfect match for Wallnau as Madame Aigreville, Yvonne's doozy Medusa of a mother. We can almost see the snakes in her hair. Zazzi knows just how far to take Madame's bitchery without making her too unpleasant to enjoy.
 
Ashley Kowzun brings a welcome freshness and enthusiasm to the role of patient Suzanne Aubin who inanely throws caution to the wind as she pursues a dalliance with her doctor. Colin Ryan is particularly delightful as her Prussian officer husband Gustav. An appropriately larger than life Gustav, Ryan plays as if both he and Gustav are delighted to be Gustav. Ryan is also delighted to deliver the humorous dialogue provided by translator/adaptor Charles Morey, which, in his mouth and accent, are laugh out loud funny.
Robert Anthony Jones (the butler Etienne) and Jaclyn Ingoglia (the maid Marie) make substantial comic contributions as the Molineaux servants.
Best of all is the hilarious and acutely on target performance of Allen Lewis Rickman in the role of Molineaux's friend and patient with a "wisp" Bassinet. Okay, G-d gave him a malleable, cherubic face, but what he does with it here is magic. Rickman's Bassinet is fully developed funny. A simple, not too bright, fellow who regards all the complications of those around him with wide-eyed interest, but is incapable of being aware when the time has come for him to but out. You may remember Rickman from his performance here last season in The Prisoner of Second Avenue.
 
The playable set for the residence-office by Bob Phillips is cleverly redecorated to serve for the set for the dressmaker's shop where everybody ends up in the second of three acts (one intermission). Julia has designed lovely and evocative fin de siècle era costumes.

Centenary's production of A Ladies Man presents a too rare opportunity to see a darn good adaptation of a classic Feydeau farce performed by a cast (and staged by a director) who knows how to do it.

Bob Rendell

Talkin' Broadway

 
The source of the hilarious comedy, 'The Ladies Man', now playing in the Centenary Stage Company's Sitnik Theatre is the French playwright Georges Feydeau's comedy 'The Ladies’ Dressmaker' freely translated and adapted by Charles Morey. This quote from Feydeau provides more than a clue to the plot of 'The Ladies Man', "Whenever two of my characters absolutely, positively under any circumstances shouldn't meet, I put them in the same room together." What he has created with Moray's assistance is one of the funniest, madcap comedies of this or any other season. First...a warning...this not a cerebral event...don't look too closely....this fast-paced farce, particularly Act Two, is to be enjoyed without too much concern for logical situations, excessive silliness or occasional French accent lapses.
 
His skill in casting is also evident in the supporting cast led by one of our favorite NJ acting treasures, Liz Zazzi, who plays the Doctor's Mother-in-Law from Hell, Madame Aigreville. No one makes an entrance as grand, with the support of Mozart, as she does. Another favorite is Allen Lewis Rickman, direct from Broadway ('Relatively Speaking'), who is hysterical as a patient (Bassinet) with a unique speech impediment and a missing wife. The good doctor has an extremely faithful valet masterfully played for laughs by Robert Anthony Jones. Rounding out the cast are three very attractive ladies and one towering handsome Prussian officer. The doctor's young wife is in the able hands of a newcomer (actually a CSC intern) the lovely Alycia M. Kunkle. All French drawing room comedies would not be complete without the obligatory sexy maid....filling that role perfectly is Jaclyn Ingoglia as maid Marie. Last are the Aubins....Suzanne Aubin is the over-sexed wife of the Prussian officer, Gustav Aubin. Suzanne is played by the young and vivacious Ashley Kowzun. Gustav, the jealous Prussian officer (in full uniform including a helmet) is played with the appropriate amount of blustering and gusto by Colin Ryan.
 
The play is set, early in the 20th century, in the second-floor Parisian parlor of the Molineaux residence that serves as his office and later in a dressmaker's shop that's more suited for men than women. Dr. Molineaux is married to a beautiful young wife, Yvonne, who passionately calls out "Tiger, Tiger" during love making, his totally unacceptable reaction is to giggle destroying all romantic thought (and ability). The result is that he takes to sleeping alone in his study claiming the reason is that his wife snores. As the play opens, his wife discovers that he has not been home all night with the only explanation possible to her (and her mother) is that he spent the night in a palace of sin. In truth, he spent the night on a park bench in the pouring rain (disregard the fact that he returns in the morning in neat dinner clothes) after a failed rendezvous at the Moulin Rouge with his amorous patient, Suzanne Aubin. What can he do... admit his indiscretion? No, instead he concocts a mammoth lie about sitting up with a near-death patient. What follows is lie, after lie, leading to a series of mistaken identities and embarrassing situations worthy of the Marx Brothers. Be prepared...this is a laugh out loud event.

Rick Busciglio

Northern New Jersey Theatre Examiner

THEATRE IN THE SQUARE

January, 17 - February 26, 2012


If you are in need of a real laugh out-loud, gut busting funny night out on the town, then go see "The Ladies Man" at Marietta's Theatre in the Square. Genuinely funny, with witty double-entendre filled writing - plus exceptional delivery by performers - makes this a not to be missed show!

Laura Jorgenson

The Backstage Beat, Atlanta

 
Given its origins as a classic French farce by Georges Feydeau, certain things just come with the territory in Charles Morey’s freely adapted “The Ladies Man.”
There’s the perpetual motion of so many elaborately orchestrated and energetically performed entrances and exits. Double entendres, of course, are in no short supply. Notably scandalous or salacious one-liners bear repeating several times over, routinely accompanied by a melodramatic gesture or a flourish of light. Cases of mistaken identities abound.
 
That characters are often caught in outrageously compromising positions probably goes without saying. At the very least, though, where else but in Theatre in the Square’s “Ladies Man” can we relish the sight of Andrea Frye, a virtual grande dame of Atlanta theater, wearing a lacy bustier and cracking her whip at a scantily clad younger man (himself in a pair of silk stockings and pink garter belts)?
 
There are plenty of such sight gags in director Susan Reid’s decidedly disarming production, a number of them manifested via Alan Yeong’s colorful costumes: see Andrew Benator as a hideously attired nerd in a loosely fitted hairpiece (pluth a pronounthed lithp), or Robin Bloodworth in full Prussian-dragoon drag (vith a vondervully overdone ahkzent). Some are more fleeting: see Lane Carlock’s sly handling of a napkin (oo-la-la, indeed).
 
And there are other visible signs of the care Reid has taken with the show. Rather than providing the characters the usual half-dozen doors to frantically dart between and slam, she and set designer Sara Ward Culpepper utilize revolving flats instead – not the biggest deal, perhaps, but enough of a nice touch to lend a bit of freshness to a familiar formula. That goes for one particularly fanciful scene change, too, in which the actors give the stagehands a break.
 
Led by the irrepressible Chris Kayser, the game cast also includes Enoch King, Veronika Duerr and Katherine N. LeRoy. Kayser is firmly in his zone here, bringing ample panache to his role as an alternately mischievous and flustered Parisian doctor and rumored philanderer. On opening night, his breathless, brilliantly timed summation speech earned a round of applause.
 
It isn’t always intended as a compliment to liken a director’s work to that of a traffic cop. For Reid’s part in “The Ladies Man,” however, it is. With no less than eight actors running around the stage on occasion, and especially considering the relative confines of the space, it’s a wonder how she manages to avoid any sense of congestion.
All of the zany action is cleverly choreographed and flows at a quick and constant clip, charging out of the gate at a feverish pitch from the moment designer Rob Dillard turns up his lights and rarely subsiding for the next two hours.
 
What more could you want from a frivolous farce? The added sensation of seeing Andrea Frye as a whip-wielding sex kitten is just the icing on the cake.

Bert Osborne

Atlanta Journal Constitution