The Underpants | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Underpants


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It's 1910, and scandal erupts when a German housewife's underpants drop during a royal parade, enraging her straight-arrow husband and intoxicating two gentlemen, who rent a spare bedroom in the couple's apartment to be nearer to the unwitting temptress. After a successful Chicago run last fall, Noble Fool Theater Company has exported this production of Steve Martin's adaptation of Carl Sternheim's 1911 expressionist comedy to the suburbs. Two-thirds of the cast remain, and their familiarity with the material pays off grandly for the show: over time the actors have developed the character details, physical business, timing, and shtick on which the comedy depends (special kudos to Meighan Gerachis as the lovesick, voyeuristic spinster living upstairs). Martin's bawdy updates seemed to resonate with the audience, which howled at lines about wiener grilling and such. Smart, funny, and sexy in a pre-Masters and Johnson way, this is an easy crowd-pleaser. Pheasant Run Resort & Spa, 4051 E. Main (Rte. 64), Saint Charles, 630-584-6342. Through March 20: Wednesdays, 7 PM; Thursdays-Fridays, 8 PM; Saturdays, 4 and 8 PM; Sundays, 2 PM. $30-$32; dinner-show packages available.

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