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Extramarital muddle

Unfaithful husbands hide unclothed mistresses in closets in CNY Playhouse’s ‘Not Now, Darling’

Portraying a harried fur-coat designer, actor Alan Stillman dresses down Mrs. Lawson, a philandering wife who’s shagging her boss, the husband of a strip-tease dancer, played by Meghan Jo Clary (right) in ‘Not Now, Darling’ which runs through Jan. 25 at CNY Playhouse, at DeWitt’s ShoppingTown Mall.

Portraying a harried fur-coat designer, actor Alan Stillman dresses down Mrs. Lawson, a philandering wife who’s shagging her boss, the husband of a strip-tease dancer, played by Meghan Jo Clary (right) in ‘Not Now, Darling’ which runs through Jan. 25 at CNY Playhouse, at DeWitt’s ShoppingTown Mall. Amelia Beamish

— CNY Playhouse prides itself on presenting “something for everyone.” The troupe, based at ShoppingTown Mall produces serious dramas such as “Streetcar Named Desire” and “Death of a Salesman,” silly musicals such as “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge” and “Spamalot,” and improvisational comedy shows such as the Syracuse Improv Collective “Bank Show” set for Jan. 31.

CNY Playhouse also has a soft spot in its heart for bawdy British farces, so if those are your cup of tea “Not Now, Darling” is for you!

CNY Playhouse Artistic Director Dustin Czarny directs the current production of Ray Cooney’s comedy of errors set in a London fur shop circa 1974. Confusion reigns as the shop’s managing director tries to buy his stripper mistress a black mink coat. Her husband, however, redirects the expensive fur to his mistress, a buxom secretary.

Along the way the shop’s designer, receptionist, a sea-faring couple, the secretary’s husband and the managing director’s wife all add to the extramarital muddle. Humor mounts when the mistresses toss dresses and underwear out the window leaving them naked beneath various furs and hidden away in the shop’s storage closet and liquor cabinet.

Much of the levity relies on a certain suspension of disbelief. The audience must believe that not a word can be heard through those two closet doors, two typically lightweight set pieces. That may be hard to swallow, but the capable cast that Czarny has assembled rises above such concerns.

Several of Syracuse’s best thespians help make the pandemonium palatable while Czarny keeps the action rolling at breakneck speed.

Alan Stillman carries the heaviest load as Arnold Crouch, the shop’s well-meaning designer and partner of Gilbert Bodley, played by David Minikhiem, and his wife Maude Bodley, portrayed by Heather Roach. Nathan Faudree (who played Mayor Lee Alexander in the film, “King Lee”) appears as Harry McMichael, husband of strip-tease dancer Jane McMichael, played by a long and lithe Meghan Jo Clary.

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