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Season III

Absolutely Honest

by Michael Messmer

Sept. 16 - Oct. 22 at 8pm Fri. and Sat. nights; Sun. matinees on Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 at 2pm

This is a fast-paced bedroom farce, complete with lots of doors, hanky-panky, and enough misunderstandings to keep the laughs rolling. Four people try to sort out their relationship problems which stem from the fact that they have not been Absolutely Honest with one another.

Marcy (Sarah Price) is only too happy to use whatever charms she has to keep her fiancé, Rock (Scott Plotkin) from asking too many questions about the fling she had with her coworker, Chris, until she has a chance for them to get their stories straight. Adding yet another complication to mayhem in Absolutely Honest at Arden Playhouse.

Being absolutely honest can get you in a lot of trouble...a lesson Chris is learning the hard way as his wife, Liz, is divorcing him after he told her about a one-night, drunken fling with Marcy (a fellow worker). But, after a night together in his new apartment that reminds them both of how much they care for each other, Liz is ready to reconsider. Then she discovers a pair of shoes that are not hers…

Chris and his problems with a bad back, lights that go off at the wrong time, and people who struggle with making decisions are just a few of the complications that make this comedy a wild romp and a hilarious look at what happens with being Absolutely Honest.

Watch video clips from Absolutely Honest

Wise Guise

by Michael Messmer

Nov. 4 - Dec. 17 at 8pm on Fri. and Sat. nights, except December 2 & 3;
Sun. matinees on Nov. 13 and 27 at 2pm

Jeff is a financial analyst whose wealth has brought him no satisfaction. In fact, the closer he got to marrying into a wealthy family, the more unhappy he became. His fiancée (Tiffany) dumped him with the warning that he’d better get his head straight. He’s come to see the wiseman of the mountain in hope of finding, if not the meaning of life, at least a clue as to why he’s on this quest. The wiseman (Fred) is nothing like anyone’s idea of a guru. He’s sarcastic, likes the good things in life, has his own stock portfolio and has some very weird ways of looking at the world. Fred’s new protégé (Angela) seems to find Jeff a soul-mate which leads to a passionate encounter just as Tiffany shows up to save Jeff from joining what she thinks might be a cult. Aided (and frequently challenged) by his new protégé (who is also a popular psychologist) Fred puts Jeff through an ordeal that that would put Dr. Phil to shame, as he seeks what is really important in his life.

Director: Dean Shellenberger

Tiffany (Kathryn Busch, left) and Angela (Amy Williams, right) struggle with Jeff (Andy Anthony) to see who
gets the gun first to shoot Fred (Scott Plotkin, far right), the wiseman of the mountain, in the Arden Playhouse
production of WISE GUISE .

Watch video clips from Wise Guise


by Murray Schisgal

Jan. 13, 2012-Feb. 25, Mat: Jan. 22 & Feb. 5
(Produced with permission of Dramatist Play Service, Inc.)

Directed by Blake Flores

Schneider is a dynamo, living life to the fullest. But, with age, there have been consequences. A short stay in the hospital because of a heart attack has reminded him of his mortality. Although it has made him concerned about what might become of Roxanne, his much younger wife, he has forgotten that he agreed to get help in changing his life-style. When the specialist arrives from the hospital things start to get complicated. Peter is a physical fitness doctor who lives with his patients for several weeks while he gets them to change their diet and other risky habits. At first Schneider objects to this plan but after Roxanne uses some charm and threats, he agrees. But Schneider has another motive in mind. Later, after Schneider has become a health-nut, it appears that he has been trying to get Peter to marry Roxanne...and the doctor is certainly enamored of her by this point. But, at last, it is Roxanne who gets exactly what she wants.

Dan Beard (on floor) and Corinne Nelson receive "physical fitness training" from Frank Hickox in the Arden Playhouse production of Oatmeal and Kisses.

SOAP SOLUTION by Michael Messmer

[Mar. 9, 2012-Apr. 21, Mat: Mar. 18 & Apr. 1]

Sarah (Patty Thiel, left) is determined not to let her husband, Larry (Philip Pittman), be seduced by Marsha (Stephanie Hodson) in the Arden Playhouse production of SOAP SOLUTION.

Larry King thinks he’s washed up as a writer. His wife recently left him in an attempt to shake him out of his depression. Now he’s gone to a mountain cabin for a few weeks of peace and quiet and crossword puzzles. His wife, however, has other plans for him. She’s hired some actors who’ve done bit parts on several soap operas. Her plan is for them to get him caught up in a crazy story they have concocted based on their experiences in the soaps. Keeping him confused is their objective and they seem to succeed for a while with situations that range from a potential suicide to a potential sexual orgy. Just when the wife thinks they’ve succeeded in rattling his cage, he turns the tables on them and (with a little help from the actors) convinces his wife that her plan may have gone awry.

Watch video clips from Soap Solution


  by James Kirkwood

[May 4, 2012-June 16, 8 PM - - Sunday Mat: May 13 & 27, 2 PM]
(Produced with permission of Samuel French, Inc.)

Cast members from left to right: Gene Haslett, Patty Thiel, Betty Cummings, Barbara Messmer, and Scott Plotkin.
Not pictured: Keith Goings. (You have to buy a ticket to get to see Keith.)

Theatrical producer Martin needs a couple of famous stars in order to get backing for his new show. He thinks he can get former movie legends Leatrice Monsée and Sylvia Glenn. Both need the work...for income and ego. They have agreed to meet at the apartment of a mutual friend who is out of town. Only problem is...they hate each other. Sparks start flying almost immediately. And then things start to get out of hand after the ladies eat some brownies that the maid has prepared for her own party... apparently made with some special ingredients. After a fight, in which not only the gloves come off...but so do the wigs, and a cop is called to investigate the disturbance...a truce emerges. They are both still fiercely competitive...but with a measure of understanding and respect.


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