by Nancy Holley
Special KRL coupon code at the end of this article.
Nana’s Naughty Knickers, a delightful farce, bursts onto the Ice House stage on Friday, April 13, with gaiety for all. Even the title makes you smile, and that’s just the beginning.
Bridget Charles (Samantha Jones) goes to New York City to spend the summer with her favorite Nana, totally unaware of the events about to occur. “Bridget is fun loving, but can be up tight since she is going to school to be a lawyer,” notes Jones. “She is only staying with her grandmother for the summer. She wants her own place by the time school starts.”
Bridget is unaware that her Nana, facing boredom after retiring from Maiden Form, decided to create her own lingerie line for seniors. She is illegally selling her designs from her rent-controlled apartment. Nana, ably portrayed by Leeni Mitchell, is concealing her wares from her landlord Gil Schmidt (Donny Graham) in innocent looking locations throughout her home.
Co-director David Peden makes the point that “the set is a character in our play.” He and wife Belva are making their directing debut at the Ice House, but as Belva noted, “We have directed Nana before and love the play. It is a fun show that proves that aging adults still have fun in the bedroom.”
“This play is fun and silly. It will make you laugh. It is a farce, and the directors know it,” laughs Mitchell. “I’m having a great time.” Co-director Belva Peden emphasized, “Leeni is the perfect Nana. I can imagine no one else.”
Nana’s sidekick and dear friend is Vera Walters (Pat Jansen). Jansen shakes her head and chuckles, “They are two little old ladies looking for trouble. Vera is hard of hearing so some of her comments don’t necessarily make sense.” On a more serious note (if there is one in this play), Jansen continued, “She is glad Bridget is here. She’s like another grandmother to her.”
No farce is complete without a love interest. Enter Baily Beach as policeman Tom O’Grady. Beach was unfamiliar with the show, but commented, “During the read through at auditions, I fell in love with the script. It is so funny. I absolutely had to be in it.”
Nana was not familiar with the business Saucy Lips – “going where no lips have gone before” – when she named her business Saucy Slips. UPS may never make a mistake in real life, but the playwright has the UPS delivery person making an error just this once. According to Jansen, “When the orders get mixed up, chaos ensues!”
What’s to become of the errant packages? Introduced to the fray is Heather Van Dupree (Jenifer Bellin), an aspiring model, who comes to retrieve the Saucy Lips packages and envisions an opportunity. What might that be? “She is fairly bold and not afraid to speak her mind. When she sees something, she goes for it,” says Bellin.
Then there’s Clair (Robin Hoffman). Who is she? Why is she here? Mystery abounds! Don’t miss the revelation and the hilarity!
Everyone involved with the play repeatedly referred to the enjoyment it brings to audiences. Newcomer Bellin commented, “It’s a light hearted comedy that makes you feel good and glad you’ve come to a play.” With a big smile, Jansen mused, “It’s so much fun. It makes my heart light to make people laugh.”
Nana’s Naughty Knickers opens at the Ice House Theatre at Race and Santa Fe in Visalia at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 13, 2018, and runs for three weekends with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. on 4/13, 4/14, 4/20, 4/21, 4/27, and 4/28, and matinees at 2 p.m. on 4/15, 4/22, and 4/29.
The Players are grateful to Season Sponsors: Family Healthcare Network, Graham & Associates, Lansdowne, Inc., and Martin Enterprises.
For more information about the Visalia Community Players and to purchase tickets, check out their website and KRL’s article about VCP. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 734-3900. For details about local arts groups in Tulare County, visit the Visalia Arts Consortium website.
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To purchase two tickets for the price of one, enter KRLNNK in the Have a code? box on the Buy/Redeem Tickets Reservation page via the Players website.