What happens when you stack lies on top of lies?
That’s a question Odyssey Productions asks with their newest play, “Don’t Dress for Dinner.”
Director David Mulgrew said
The play looks at what happens between married couple Bernard and Jacqueline when Jacqueline is supposed to go away for the weekend and Bernard has invited his mistress Suzanne and his best friend Robert for the weekend.
“The problem is his wife Jacqueline, finds out that Robert’s coming for the weekend also who she’s having an affair with,” director David Mulgrew said. “She cancels her plans with her mother and decides to stay. They’ve also hired a cook to come and cook a nice meal for the evening.”
The deception continues when Robert is convinced to pretend Suzanne is his mistress. Bernard and Jacqueline then go off to get items for the meal and the cook Suzette arrives and Bernard believes she is Suzanne.
“We have Suzette and Suzanne and so then when they come back from shopping they find Suzette and Robert,” Mulgrew said.
“Now his girlfriend, who’s coming up, has to pretend to be the cook, Suzette’s pretending to be the mistress and it just gets intertwined until act two when the cook’s husband shows up and obviously now there’s more problems.”
This is Mulgrew’s second time directing for Odyssey. He initially directing Four Weddings and an Elvis six years ago. He also directs for his own group with three friends called Smokescreen. They generally do small plays for provincial festivals
“I have directed many, many shows—a lot for Prince Albert Community Players,” Mulgrew said.
“I did my first play with PACP in 1982 and I’ve been doing plays ever since. I’ve been to probably 30 provincial drama festivals as an actor, as a director, and so I’ve been doing this. I’m an old hand.”
Mulgrew directed the Full Monty for Spark Theatre as well. He has also acted with several companies, and won numerous awards for his directing at provincial drama festivals.
He said that attending all of these festivals and adjudications has made him a better director.
“I have probably seen 200 plays adjudicated in my day by different directors with different ideas, and it gives you all different ways that they deal with actors,” he explained. “Every director is different, but you get different techniques from everybody. This is what I like about directing.”
Mulgrew found working with the cast on “Don’t Dress for Dinner” to be an excellent experience.
“I don’t want to say we have a new cast because they’re all very experienced, but I think I can bring a different light to it,” he said. “I think I have a lot of experience to bring to the club.”
Mulgrew said the cast and crew have been working on the play for nine or 10 weeks. He’s happy with the progress, and confident audiences will enjoy it.
“It’s a really snappy piece,” he said. “The lines are a little bit more difficult to learn because there’s a lot of one liners, but the actors are doing very well with that.”
Patty Hudye-Koroluk plays Jacqueline and Alderic Geoget plays Bernard. They also played husband and wife in Odyssey’s previous production ‘Sylvia.’
Georget said those previous performances helped them build chemistry for their new role.
“It’s just a natural fit,” he said. “If you have chemistry already then you can easily play a similar character, but I think Patty and I could have played anything in the show together and it would have worked.”
Georget said Hudye-Koroluk’s potrayal of Jacqueline challenged him to make Bernard a better character.
“I’m really impressed by the acting and everything that our whole cast has been doing,” Georget said.
“I’m really glad Bernard is Alderic. Because it is comfortable, it’s safe,” Hudye-Koroluk added.
The production has a large number of personal connections for cast and crew. Mulgrew directed many of the cast members when they were Grade 5 students at Riverside School, and Aldric Georget’s father, George, was Mulgrew’s first director in high school. explained that members of the cast were directed by him when they were in Grade 5 at Riverside School.
Chantelle Hovedbo, who plays Suzanne, was also in ‘Sylvia’ and Trent Gillespie works with Hudye-Koroluk at the penitentiary. Mulgrew has worked with Hudye-Koroluk in the Full Monty, and directed Trent Gillespie in Four Weddings and an Elvis.
The show was originally supposed to be done before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The big difference now is Michelle McColm, who was originally cast as Jacqueline, but now plays Suzette.
“Michelle and I had that chemistry from then and so I thought, ‘oh, she’s going to be in the show, that’s kind of neat,” Hudye-Koroluk said.
The production will also provide an opportunity for a high school student to get started in theatre by working as an assistant stage manager.
“It’s nice to get the youth involved. That’s where I got started,” Mulgrew said.
The play has moved from their traditional home at the Prince Albert Wildlife Federation to Plaza 88 because of a double booking.
“It was us versus a wedding at the Wildlife Federation,” Mulgrew said. “Doug Erickson from the Wildlife Federation went out of his way, checked with Plaza 88, and found us a new venue to try to satisfy both parties.”
The show is at Plaza 88 from Nov. 15-18 with the Wednesday show being just the show and the 16 through 18 being a dinner theatre.
The cost for the show only tickets are $30, dinner theatre is $60.00 and are available at Odyssey Productions website
“This is a farce,” Mulgrew said. “It’s funny. I laughed my ass off when I first read it. It’s a hilarious play.”
The cast hope attendees will enjoy the production.
“The cheating part aside, I think it’s relatable in terms of relationships and how if they can go south,” Georget said.
“Not to be political or anything with it, but with what’s going on, it’s a nice show just to come and see and enjoy. It’s just fun. There’s no heavy drama.”
“It’s a comedy of errors completely,” Hudye-Koroluk said. “It’s light and it’s funny, and it would be just a nice evening out.”