Now in rehearsal at CCCT, Brandon Thomas’ brilliant comedy Charley’s Aunt will open May 9th with performances each weekend through May 25th. This beautifully crafted farce is a story about the idea of young love and naïveté where love conquers all. First performed in 1892, critics have reveled in this classic British farce for over a century:
- “Cause for guffaws and endless laughter “
- “Coyly flirtatious”
- “a breath of fresh, chortle-filled air”
- “time-honored Brit tradition of cross-dressing, embellished with requisite jabs at the stuffy upper class.”
- “The Three Stooges have nothing on this classic slapstick comedy”
Oxford undergraduates Charley Wykeham and Jack Chesney are in love with Amy Spettigue and Kitty Verdun. But asking them to lunch without a chaperone would not be proper so the boys invite Charley’s aunt, Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez, to dine with them.
Anticipating the arrival of this wealthy widow from Brazil, Jack convinces his father, Sir Francis, that he should court her since the latter needs to marry a wealthy woman to save the dwindling family fortune. Unfortunately all this planning is derailed when her arrival is postponed and the boys are forced to persuade their fellow undergraduate Fancourt “Babbs” Babberley to masquerade as Donna Lucia using the costume he has acquired for his debut with an amateur theater group. Spettigue, the uncle and guardian of the girls, shows up furious because he does not approve of Jack and Charley, but he is soon distracted by Charley’s “aunt” and “her” apparent wealth.
Sir Francis, Jack’s father, arrives and Babbs suddenly finds himself with two suitors of his own. The real Donna Lucia arrives with Ela Delahay, Babbs’ long-lost love, but rather than reveal everything the two women play along with the deception. When Amy and Kitty commiserate with Charley’s “aunt” that they need Spettigue’s permission for them to marry, the disguised Babbs sets out to trick Spettigue into putting his blessing in writing.
The real Donna Lucia, calling herself Mrs. buttercup-Smith, realizes that Sir Francis is the man she was in love with 20 years ago and the two reconnect. Meanwhile, poor Babbs is terrified that Ela will recognize him, or worse, reveal something to Charley’s “aunt” that would embarrass her. Just when everything seems too tangled to undo, all is revealed, and the various couples are happily united.
Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased through our virtual box office. You can also make reservations by calling the CCCT box office at 281-335-5228.
CCCT has been named the Bay Area’s “Best Community Theater” by readers of the Bay Area Citizen for a fifth year in a row! Many thanks to our patrons and readers of the Bay Area Citizen for your continued support. See the February 27, 2014 edition for details.