Make us your home page
Instagram

Plenty of romantic advice, and comedy, in Richey Suncoast Theater's 'If a Man Answers'

NEW PORT RICHEY — What's the old saying? "Where were you in '62?"

If you were like most American teens, you were at the movies watching American sweethearts Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin in the romantic comedy If a Man Answers, the tale of how sophisticated French mother Germaine teaches her American daughter Chantal how to catch a man, train him how to behave, then keep him true and faithful by good, old-fashioned fibbing and manipulation.

Just treat him like a dog, Mama advises — no, really, treat him like a dog.

The stage version of this lighthearted movie opens Thursday at Richey Suncoast Theatre and continues for three weekends.

In it, fashion photographer Eugene "Gene" Wright (Jason Hoolihan, Gordon in Key for Two), spots adorable young Chantal Stacey (Paige Buffy Cetnor, chorus, Young Frankenstein) and recruits her as a model. They fall in love, marry and live happily ever … uh, well, after having a few bumps along the way, namely the gorgeous models who stroll in and out of Gene's studio, driving Chantal up a wall.

That's when Chantal's mom, Germaine (Diane Sloan-Ramos, Doris in Bye Bye Birdie), gives her daughter some sage advice: Treat your husband like a dog and he's yours forever. "Praise him when he is learning to fetch and carry." "Make the words 'come here' mean something pleasurable." "Be sure to frolic with your pet a part of every day."

This works like magic until Chantal's college pal Tina (Ali Peterson, Tina in Whose Wives Are They Anyway?) shows up, tells Eugene what's going on, and the game appears to be up. That is, until Mama reveals her second marital tip: Always keep him guessing. Mama calls daughter, and if a man answers, she hangs up — implying that the bride has a secret lover. She even gives this imaginary lover a name — Robert Swan, the same name she used to make Chantal's father, John (Doug Ronk), jealous back in their early romance.

And that works until the real Robert Swan (Roger Keemichen) shows up.

At that point, everything blows up — until it somehow works out.

But not before a string of lovely models vamp their way through Eugene's studio, a party turns a little too lively, and Chantal goes bonkers trying to figure out how to deal with all of it.

Chantal's devious ways may seem dated to some and be ever-so-slightly offensive to others, but playwright David Rogers makes it all seem cute and innocent, just like Sandra and Bobby seemed back in 1962.

>>if you go

'If a Man Answers'

The romantic comedy runs Thursday to Jan. 17, 22 to 24 and 29 to 31 at Richey Suncoast Theatre, 6237 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. Shows are at 8 p.m., except Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $18, reserved seating (cash or check preferred). Call (727) 842-6777.

Plenty of romantic advice, and comedy, in Richey Suncoast Theater's 'If a Man Answers' 01/06/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 3:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 28

    Events

    Alabama: The country music all-timers hit the road for the Southern Drawl tour with openers, the Charlie Daniels Band. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $26-$86. (813) 301-2500.

    Handout photo of Alabama, performing 5/28/17 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Credit: Alan Messer
  2. Find serenity at Grand Cayman Island's Cemetery Beach

    Travel

    GRAND CAYMAN ISLAND

    Hey, cruisers, if you've been to Hell and back, snuggled with the stingrays and taken photos with the turtles at the Cayman Turtle Centre, you might be looking for something different on your next trip. (Guilty!)

    Good snorkeling can be found off shore at Cemetery Beach in Grand Cayman.
  3. Karen Bail, who helped Gibbs kids get to Broadway, retires

    Stage

    ST. PETERSBURG — When neatnicks retire, they leave no trace behind. Their desks are clean, like a runway after the plane has taken off.

    Karen Bail warms up seniors Jonathan O’Brien, left, as Juan Peron and Addam Setzer as Che Guevara before the dress rehearsal of Evita in April.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 27

    Events

    Tampa Bay Margarita Festival: The Barenaked Ladies will headline this festival with opener Cowboy Mouth. Enjoy more than 50 varieties of margarita drinks including a Sriracha strawberry, a bacon rita and even a jalapeno Cabo rita. There's beer and vodka for the non-tequila drinkers. Noon, Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N …

    istockphoto
  5. A forgotten ballad from The Princess Bride? Inconceivable!

    Blogs

    As we wrap up May Movie Month on Lost and Found, we seek the perfect ride-off-in-the-sunset movie song.  For those who love storybook endings, perhaps your favorite '80s movie is The Princess Bride. Would you like to see the video for that perfect ending of a Storybook Love? As you wish.