A Flea in Her Ear – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

If you love to laugh and enjoy the complicated joys of farce, then do I have the play for you. Farce is a unique form of comedy that is reminiscent of Abbott and Costello partying with The Three Stooges, only with lots of bedrooms, slamming doors, mistaken identities and a slap dash of romance. The situations are ridiculous, the humor is physical and the dialogue equal parts witty and sexy. Get ready to dip your toes in this delicious sea of silliness.

In 1907 Georges Feydeau of France penned the outrageously adorable “A Flea in Her Ear” which has been delightfully adapted by David Ives. Until Saturday, July 28, you are urged to run, not walk, to the Westport Country Playhouse for some fancy French folderol.

You will quickly get caught up in the plottings of Raymonde Chandebise (Elizabeth Heflin) who is convinced her husband Victor (Lee E. Ernst) is cheating on her. To catch him in the act, Raymonde contrives to have her best friend Lucienne (Antoinette Robinson) write him a perfumed love note, urging him to meet his new secret admirer at The Frisky Puss Hotel. What could possibly go wrong with this plan?

The flattered Victor enlists his womanizing friend Tournel (Steven Pelinski) to go in his place and the race to comic confusion is on. Add to the mix a smug servant (David Beach) and his amorous (to others) wife (Carine Montbertrand), a doctor with ulterior motives (Hassan El Amin), a cousin with a severe speech impediment (Mic Matarrese) and the hotel’s accommodating staff and residents (Deena Burke, Laura Frye, Robert Adelman Hancock, Wynn Harmon, John Rensenhouse) and you have merry mayhem that is magnificently played upon Kristen Robinson’s beautifully appointed set, with lovely costuming by Sara Jean Tosetti and adapt direction guided by Mark Lamos.

A pair of suspenders and a bucket of suspicion start off the race, with a wildly jealous husband of Spanish ancestry (Michael Gotch) firing the starting gun for hijinxs and high comedy. The action spins into revolving bedrooms with laugh-out-loud results. The remarkable resemblance between a man of noble upbringing and a lowly bellman engenders much mistaken personality.

For tickets ($30 and up), call the Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport off Route 1 at 203-227-4177 or 888-927-7529 or online at www.westportplayhouse.org. Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Check-in at The Frisky Puss Hotel for some mischief and merriment in this masterpiece of French bedroom farce. Be sure to ask if room 5 is available.