Showtimes are Feb. 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 11 and 18 at 2 p.m.
What do you have when actors and actresses struggle to get through rehearsals without laughing? The hysterically funny play, “The Explorers Club,” which opens at The Everett Theatre in Middletown Friday, Feb. 9.
Director Gail Wagner first saw the play at the Delaware Theater Company when one of the attorney's for whom she works gave her a gift certificate.
“I got tickets and took some friends,” said Wagner, “and we all laughed so hard during the entire show. Weeks later we were still talking about it.”
She later read the script and noticed how many other funny things she missed the first time she watched it, and she is excited to bring this hysterical production to the Everett.
So what will the audience expect to see when the Everett stage is turned into “The Explorers Club” in 1879?
Well, the club has the reputation of having the worst bartender in London.
Lucuis Fret, a botanist, played by Max O'Neill, is the president pro temp of the club in the absence of Sir Harry Percy, played by Patrick Ruegseggar, who is off finding the East Pole. Lucius is quite smitten with a female explorer, Phyllida Spotte-Hume, (Kathleen Kimber), whom he hopes to propose for membership to this all male club.
Phyllida has found a lost city and brought back to London a genuine warrior, whom she has named Luigi (Kevin Austra) and he may not be fully adapting to Victorian ways, especially how one says hello.
Add the eccentricities of other club members to the mix, including a herpetologist Professor Cope (Bret Ioli), Professor Walling (Dave Hastings) who studies guinea pigs, Professor Sloane (Wade Finner) the archeo-theologist, plus an altercation at the palace leading to the intercession of Sir Humphreys (Dave Fullerton) the private secretary to the Queen, and you get an evening of laugh out loud Victorian mayhem.
And to top it off, a thought to be deceased member of the club, Beebe, now a monk (Austin Topper) makes a surprise visit to the club looking for vengeance against the person who abandoned him!
Chris Everett, executive director of The Everett, Inc., believes it is important for theatres such as the Everett to put on plays of the caliber of “The Explorers Club.” He noted that while “the Everett is primarily known for its big stage musicals and family-friendly fare, as a legitimate theatre we need to provide opportunities like ‘The Explorers Club’ to the MOT community.”
Times and tickets
“The Explorers Club” can be seen at the Everett, 47 W. Main St., Middletown, Feb. 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 11 and 18 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, and $10 for those 12 and under.
“Like most farce, there is the improbable and the almost impossible,” said Wagner. “It’s hard to explain just how funny this show is. I suggest seeing it twice to not miss any of the laughter!”