A Flea in her Ear Will Keep You Laughing

  • 04/18/2013
  • Terelle Jerricks

By John Farrell, Curtain Call Writer

If you can only see one play in the next few months, Feydeau’s brilliant turn-of-the century farce A Flea in her Ear, at the Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage Theater, is the one to see.

It isn’t elegantly presented. In fact, the setting is simple; even a bit sever. But the acting is funny, hilariously funny, from the first few seconds through nearly three hours of antics that take place in a private house where love has become a problem, with every moment filled with amusement, laughter and hilarity.

The cast climbs the furniture, dodges through locked and unlocked doors and even jumps out of a conveniently placed window.

The director, James Rice, who has worked recently at Little Fish Theatre, turns the difficult Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage Theater into an effective place for lively comedy, with plenty of doors provided by stage designer David Scaglione and other details such as a revolving hidden bed.

The cast, which includes Bill Wolski in a hilarious double role and his wife Holly Baker-Kreiswirth in a starring role, is large. There is Stephen Alan Carver as a suave Doctor Finache, the comically dynamic Lee Samuel Tanng as Camille, whose inability to speak consonants makes it hilariously difficult to understand, and Kate Woodruff as Yvonne Chandel, who starts all the trouble with a secret note to her husband.

The play begins when Victor Emmanuel (Wolski’s first role) neglects his wife Yvonne and she thinks he is cheating. She decides her best friend Lucienne should write him a flirtatious note, inviting him to a rendezvous at the Pretty Pussy Inn. It grows and grows through mistaken identity to gunshots and a finale where everything comes together happily, at least for the moment. There is nothing deep here, just Gallic wit and a hotel with too many doors.

Tickets are $24, $21 for seniors and  $14 for students. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. through May 11.

Details: (562) 494-1014www.lbplayhouse.org
Venue: Long Beach Playhouse Mainstage Theater
Location: 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

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