Don't Dress for Dinner

Don't Dress for Dinner is a two-act play by French playwright Marc Camoletti. It's a sequel to Camoletti's other play Boeing Boeing. The play ran in Paris for a little more than two years under the name Pyjamas Pour Six, and also ran in London starring Simon Cadell and Su Pollard.

Characters

Bernard (Jacqueline's husband)
Jacqueline (Bernard's wife and Robert's lover)
Robert (Bernard's friend and Jacqueline's lover)
Suzette (the cook)
Suzanne (Bernard's mistress)
George (Suzette's husband)

Synopsis

In a renovated French farmhouse about a two-hour drive from Paris, Bernard is hoping to pack his wife, Jacqueline, away to her mother's for the weekend, in hopes he can romance his mistress, Suzanne, a Parisian model and actress. As an alibi, Bernard has hired a Cordon Bleu-level cook, Suzette, and invited his friend Robert to dinner.

While Bernard is upstairs, the telephone rings. Jacqueline answers; it's the Bon Appetit catering agency confirming Suzette is on her way. Then Robert calls and Jacqueline again answers. He tells Jacqueline he is spending the weekend, a fact unknown to her. As Robert and Jacqueline talk on the phone, it becomes obvious that they are having an affair.


caption=Jacqueline (Tina Segovia) splashes Bernard (Joe Kelly) with soda in the 2009 Potomac Theatre Company production of "Don't Dress For Dinner"

Jacqueline tells Bernard her mother has the flu and she has cancelled their visit. Bernard panics, and when Robert arrives, he tells his friend about his affair with Suzanne. Since she is arriving at any minute, Bernard convinces Robert to tell Jacqueline that "Suzy" is his girlfriend.

While Bernard and Jacqueline are out buying groceries, Suzy arrives -- it's the caterer, not the mistress. Robert doesn't realize it and introduces Suzette as his girlfriend when Bernard and Jacqueline return. Bernard is angry because of the mix-up, and Jacqueline feels betrayed because she thought she was Robert's only mistress.

Bernard and Robert secretly talk to Suzette, and for 400 francs she agrees to play Robert's mistress. When Suzanne arrives, alerted to the fact that she's now the cook. She's outraged but Suzanne agrees to play her part. When Jacqueline confronts Robert about Suzette, he tells Jacqueline that Suzette is his niece.

Act 2 begins with Robert and Suzette in the parlor talking and they depart. Jacqueline voices her frustration of Bernard's affair, which she found out about from a note signed 'Suzy' and a receipt for a Chanel coat in Bernard's jacket pocket. The coat was a gift for Bernard's mistress. Since the coat was made out to be Suzette's Jacqueline is sure Bernard's affair is with Suzette.

Suzanne thinks so as well; she and Jacqueline exact revenge on Robert and Suzette by pouring ice on them. Suzanne was satisfied but Jacqueline sprays Bernard with a soda siphon. More hijinks are brought out and confusion about Suzette being Robert's niece is brought to light.

Suzette tells Bernard and Robert that she has a husband, George, who will kill anyone she is seen even suggesting an affair. Jacqueline comes downstairs in a negligee and tells Bernard about her affair. Bernard is mad and threatens to kill the adulterer. Jacqueline discloses Robert's name and all is set for hell when George, Suzette's husband, walks in. George is told to believe Suzette is at another house and that Suzanne is his wife, until Suzette comes out to greet him. After questioning George is to believe the evening was a game called "Happy Families" and they depart.

After Bernard and Jacqueline go to bed. Suzanne visits Robert's bedroom, claims they should share it and that he deserves a reward for buying her a new Chanel coat {because Suzette took the old one}.

The play was famously featured as the basis for a hidden camera prank on Lionel Blair on the television series Noel's House Party.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dress — [[t]dre̱s[/t]] ♦♦ dresses, dressing, dressed 1) N COUNT A dress is a piece of clothing worn by a woman or girl. It covers her body and part of her legs. She was wearing a black dress. 2) N UNCOUNT You can refer to clothes worn by men or women as… …   English dictionary

  • dress — /dres/, n., adj., v., dressed or drest, dressing. n. 1. an outer garment for women and girls, consisting of bodice and skirt in one piece. 2. clothing; apparel; garb: The dress of the 18th century was colorful. 3. formal attire. 4. a particular… …   Universalium

  • dress — 1 /dres/ noun 1 (C) a piece of clothing worn by a woman or girl that covers her body from her shoulder to somewhere on her leg: Sheila wore a long red dress. compare skirt 1 (1) 2 (U) the way someone dresses: His dress is always very formal. 3… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • dress — dress1 W2S2 [dres] n 1.) a piece of clothing worn by a woman or girl that covers the top of her body and part or all of her legs →↑skirt ▪ Sheila wore a long red dress. ▪ a summer dress 2.) [U] clothes for men or women of a particular type or for …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Dress code — redirects here. For the 2000 film released on video as The Dress Code, see Bruno (2000 film). Male Western dress code …   Wikipedia

  • Don't Look at Me — Desperate Housewives episode Episode no. Season 2 Episode 19 Directed by David Grossman W …   Wikipedia

  • Don't Go Near the Water (novel) — Don t Go Near the Water   Cover of first edition (hardcover) …   Wikipedia

  • Don Juan (Byron) — Byron s Don Juan (Penguin Classics version) Don Juan (  /d …   Wikipedia

  • Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973 film) — For other uses, see Don t Be Afraid of the Dark (disambiguation). Don t Be Afraid of the Dark Original 1973 TV Guide advertisement. Directed by …   Wikipedia

  • Don Maclennan — South African poet photographed in 1984 Donald Alasdair Calum Maclennan (December 9, 1929 – February 9, 2009) was a South African poet, critic, playwright and English professor. He published a number of plays, short stories, collections of poems… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.