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Now playing: A Flea in Her Ear

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"A Flea in Her Ear" will continue to play at Laidlaw through April 22.

Briana Cunningham

Briana Cunningham

"A Flea in Her Ear" will continue to play at Laidlaw through April 22.

Shannon Lundgren, Reporter

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“A Flea in Her Ear,” a farcical comedy, debuted Friday, April 14 at Laidlaw Performing Arts Center. The play is a new version of Georges Faydeau’s farce by David Ives. The play will run April 20-22 at 7:30 p.m. in Laidlaw Performing Arts Center.

In the play, Rachel Chandebise (Sadie Bell Freeman), suspects her husband, Victor Chandebiese (Kip Hayes), is having an affair. Rachel plots with her best friend, Lucy de Histanga (Katlyn Eller), to lure Victor to a brothel to confirm her suspicions. A case of mistaken identity and wacky hijinks ensues.

Hayes showed true versatility as an actor in the dual role of Victor Chandebiese/ Poche. Through minor changes to posture, costume and accent, Hayes expertly conveyed two different characters. His British and Cockney accents were recognizable while still being understandable.

In the role of Victor’s wife, Freeman used subtle facial expressions to portray an over-dramatic character without becoming an over-dramatic actress.

However, the most difficult part was that of Cameron Chandebise (Thomas Jefferson Dean IV). Dean portrayed a character unable to pronounce consonants. Despite the character’s speech impediment, Dean clearly conveyed the character’s emotion through use of tone.

Even smaller parts were well acted and memorable.  Kenny Pickens took the minor role of Hornsby, an amorous cowboy, and made it unforgettable with his southern accent. Sengphet Sengphachanh (Ferraillon) impressively performed physical comedy.

With every actor bringing something special to their role, it is impossible to declare a favorite.  Directors Dr. Lars Tatom’s and John Nara’s sense of comedic timing brought a stereotypical comedic farce to life and made it unforgettable.

The set design was economical and clever. Small changes, such as panels to hide extra doorways and a rug easily changed the set from middle-class living room to bawdy brothel. The curtain did not close between acts and the audience was treated to an inside look at the scene changes.

Though the set was minimal, portraits of Queen Elizabeth and British themed magazines on the coffee table reinforced the setting. The era was conveyed through the costumes. Lucy de Histanga’s (Katlyn Eller) costume especially evoked images of a young Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

“A Flea in Her Ear” is a must-see for this season. One audience member, Deborah Fetherland, called it a “tour de farce,” and no one left the play without a smile on their faces.
Contact (251) 460-6306 for more information on ticket availability or visit Laidlaw Performing Arts Center ticket office.

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Now playing: A Flea in Her Ear