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Theatre Review: A Flea In Her Ear

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, July 8, 2011

(Music - Debussy ) 

The formula for this bedroom comedy is timeless, which is to say that it's still funny, even after 100 years. First, we meet a middle aged wife, who confides in her best friend.

"A terrible thing has happened. My husband is unfaitfhful!"

"Victor Emmanuel?"


"Victor Emmanuel? You take my breath away!"

"I'll expose him!"

"You mean you can prove it?"

"Well, no I can't. But I will!"

So she lays a trap, using a falsified letter, allegedly from an anonymous admirer, summoning her husband to a rendezvous. When the husband reads the letter aloud to his buddies, he swallows the bait: hook, line and sinker.

"I'll be waiting for you today, five o'clock, at the Hotel Coq d'Or."

"Oh, the Hotel Coq d'Or. If she knows that place, she's well broken in."

"Why, is it one of THOSE hotels?"

"That's where I go for my little adventures."

Once the scene shifts to the hotel, everything gets crazy, as several panicky spouses try to hide behind bedroom doors, which slam shut as people try to evade the consequences of discovery.

(Sounds of chaos, door slamming, music, applause).

The outdoor amphitheater setting - surrounded by oak trees, with singing crickets and silvery moonlight - compliments the mood of the play. The elaborate set and ornate costumes evoke the elegance of the turn-of-the-century Belle Époque era.

All told,"A Flea In Her Ear" is dizzy, light-hearted entertainment well-suited to a pleasant summer night. So pack a picnic basket, enjoy the drive to the foothills, and witness the happy chaos of this sprightly old farce from a gilded age.



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