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The Underpants


It's not quite the Emperor's New Clothes. Literally, it's more like the bureaucrat's wife is going commando. That was at least part of the point of German playwright Carl Sternheim's play, The Underpants, written in 1910. The farce begins as a bureaucrat's wife is glimpsed in public at the unfortunate moment of having her underwear drop to her ankles, a far too scandalous moment for his career to suffer, at least in an era before interns and pages. Soon, however, a couple of intrigued gentlemen who witnessed the incident are knocking at the bureaucrat's door inquiring about a room for rent. Enter the sort of situation comedy that enticed Steve Martin to adapt the play. While best known for his work on Saturday Night Live and movies like The Jerk, Martin has also proven to be adept at more literary pursuits, both in the theater and in the pages of The New Yorker. But he hasn't lost his goofy sense of humor in this play, which irreverently seeks to uncover some of the underlying stuffiness and political correctness of the growing German middle class a century ago. See who gets caught with their pants down. Tickets $12 general admission, $9 Tulane faculty/staff, $7.50 students/seniors. -- Will Coviello

8 p.m. Tue.-Sat., Nov. 7-10; 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Nov. 11-12

Tulane University, McWilliams Hall, Lab Theater, 6823 St. Charles Ave.


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