Don’t Dress for Dinner

2012 Award Season


* = Winner

Tony Award Nominations:

Don't Dress for Dinner
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play - Spencer Kayden
Best Costume Design of a Play - William Ivey Long

Man and Boy
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play - Frank Langella

The Road to Mecca
Best Lighting Design of a Play - Peter Kaczorowski

Full list of nominees.

Jennifer Tilly, Ben Daniels, and Spencer Kayden in 'Don't Dress for Dinner'; Photo Credit: Joan Marcus, 2012

Drama Desk Nominations:

Death Takes a Holiday
Outstanding Musical
Outstanding Actor in a Musical – Kevin Earley
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical – Matt Cavenaugh
Outstanding Director of a Musical – Doug Hughes
Outstanding Music – Maury Yeston
Outstanding Lyrics – Maury Yeston
Outstanding Book of a Musical - Thomas Meehan and Peter Stone
Outstanding Costume Design – Catherine Zuber
Outstanding Lighting Design – Kenneth Posner
Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical – Jon Weston
Outstanding Orchestrations - Larry Hochman

Sons of the Prophet
Outstanding Actor in a Play – Santino Fontana
Sam Norkin Off Broadway Award – Stephen Karam: The profoundly moving Sons of the Prophet confirmed his status as one of the most promising playwrights of his generation.

The Road to Mecca
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play – Jim Dale

Full list of nominees.

Jim Dale, Carla Gugino, and Rosemary Harris in 'The Road to Mecca'; Photo Credit: Joan Marcus, 2011

Drama League Nominations:

Sons of the Prophet
Distinguished Performance Award: Santino Fontana

Man and Boy
Distinguished Performance Award: Frank Langella

The Road to Mecca
Distinguished Performance Award: Rosemary Harris

Look Back in Anger
Distinguished Revival of a Play
Distinguished Performance Award: Matthew Rhys

Read the full list of nominees.

Adam Driver, Sarah Goldberg, and Matthew Rhys in 'Look Back in Anger'; Photo Credit: Joan Marcus, 2012

Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations:

Death Takes a Holiday
Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical
Outstanding New Score (Broadway of Off-Broadway)
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical — Rebecca Luker

Sons of the Prophet
*Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play
Outstanding Actor in a Play — Santino Fontana
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play — Joanna Gleason

Don't Dress for Dinner
*Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play — Spencer Kayden
Outstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical) — William Ivey Long

Read the full list of nominees.

Rebecca Luker, Michael Sibbery and the cast of 'Death Takes a Holiday'; Photo Credit: Joan Marcus, 2011

New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards:

Sons of the Prophet
*Best Play

Full list of awards.

Lucille Lortel Award Nominations:

Death Takes a Holiday
Outstanding Costume Design — Catherine Zuber

Sons of the Prophet
*Outstanding Play
*Outstanding Lead Actor — Santino Fontana

Look Back in Anger
Outstanding Revival
Outstanding Director — Sam Gold
*Outstanding Featured Actor — Adam Driver
Outstanding Scenic Design — Andrew Lieberman

Read the full list of nominees.

Jonathan Louis Dent, Chris Perfetti, Santino Fontana and Yusef Bulos in 'Sons of the Prophet'; Photo Credit: Joan Marcus, 2011

Related Categories:
2011-2012 Season, Death Takes A Holiday, Don't Dress for Dinner, Look Back in Anger, Man and Boy, Roundabout News, Sons of the Prophet, The Road to Mecca

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About the Playwright: Marc Camoletti


Marc Camoletti wrote 40 plays, which have been translated into 18 languages and produced professionally in 55 countries. His most successful play, Boeing-Boeing, ran for 19 years in Paris. There have been 14 film and television adaptations of his plays, including the 1965 film version of Boeing Boeing starring Jerry Lewis, Tony Curtis, and Thelma Ritter. Camoletti directed 1 movie, a 1979 adaptation of his play Duos sur canapé. It’s estimated that 20 million people have seen his plays live and 500 million people have seen a recorded version.


Type “Marc Camoletti” into any internet search engine, and discover thousands of productions of his plays, staged everywhere from dinner theaters in Lubbock, Texas to the Měšťanská beseda v Kopeckého in Pilsen, Czech Republic.

The international reach of Camoletti’s work—his forty plays have been translated into 18 languages and performed professionally in fifty-five countries—mirrors Camoletti’s personal background. He was a French citizen, born on November 16, 1923, in Geneva, Switzerland, to a family of Italian background.

Camoletti’s paternal grandfather, also named Marc Camoletti, was a prominent architect who designed Victoria Hall, a concert venue, named in honor of Queen Victoria and eventually donated to the city of Geneva by its owner. The elder Camoletti also designed the Geneva Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, and the Hôtel des Postes du Mont-Blanc, all in Geneva. Camoletti’s great uncle and cousins were also successful architects.

Camoletti initially trained as a painter. But by the early 1950s he was living and writing in Paris, the city that would embrace his work and that he would call home for most of his life. In 1955, he adapted and directed a play titled Isabella and the Pelican at the Edward VII Theatre. In 1958, at the advanced (for a beginner playwright) age of 35, he wrote his first play, La Bonne Anna (The Good Anna or Anna the Maid). It was produced at the Théâtre des Capucines by a company affiliated with Camoletti’s wife, the theatrical designer Germaine Camoletti. The production was a smash hit and ran for 1,300 performances.

La Bonne Anna, like all of Camoletti’s forty plays, was a light comedy dealing with themes of sex, relationships, and secrets. His work is often characterized as “boulevard theatre,” a genre characterized by middlebrow sex comedies and named for Paris’ Boulevard du Temple, location of many theaters. Georges Feydeau is the most notable playwright of the style.

Camoletti’s second—and most famous—play, Boeing-Boeing, opened in Paris on December 10, 1960, and ran for 19 years. The English translation opened in London in 1962 and ran for seven years. The farce initially held less appeal for American audiences—the original Broadway production lasted just 23 performances in 1965. But the 2008 Broadway revival starring Mark Rylance and Christine Baranski fared better, running for 279 performances, earning six Tony Award® nominations and two Tony awards. Boeing-Boeing now regularly appears at regional theaters across the country.

Poster from the 1965 film "Boeing Boeing" starring Jerry Lewis and Tony Curtis

Camoletti followed up Boeing-Boeing with a string of successful shows, including Sèmiramis in 1963, Secretissimo in 1965, La Bonne Adresse in 1966, and L’Amour propre in 1968. In 1972, Camoletti and his wife took over management of Thèâtre Michel, on Paris’ Rue des Mathurins.

Camoletti would produce and often direct his own work at Thèâtre Michel, beginning with Duos sur canape in 1974. Bon Anniversaire followed in 1976, On dînera au lit in 1980, and Le Bluffeur in 1984. In 1987, Pyjama pour six, a sequel to Boeing-Boeing, opened at the Theatre Michel. The English translation, retitled Don’t Dress for Dinner, opened in London in 1991 and ran for six years. (The German translation, Snutensnack un Lögenpack, has also proven popular.)

Camoletti continued to write, produce, and direct at the Thèâtre Michel throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor, one of France’s highest honors.

The Teatre Michele in Paris, France

Camoletti passed away on July 18, 2003. He is buried with his wife, who passed away in 1994, in the Montmartre Cemetery in Paris. From the time of Camoletti’s death in 2003 through 2008, Camoletti’s son Jean Christophe and daughter-in-law Arianne managed Thèâtre Michel.

Related Categories:
2011-2012 Season, Don't Dress for Dinner, Education @ Roundabout, Upstage

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A Conversation with Spencer Kayden


Ted Sod, Roundabout’s Education Dramaturg, sat down with actress Spencer Kayden to discuss her role in Don’t Dress for Dinner.

Ted Sod: Why did you choose to do this play and this role?

Spencer Kayden: To me, farce is pure joy. There is nothing deep or pretentious about it. It’s just finely-tuned silliness.

What kind of preparation or research did you have to do in order to play Suzette? Do you use an accent?

Suzette is French and I suppose the accent comes easily from having watched Peter Sellers in so many "Pink Panther" movies when I was younger.

I know you’ve played the role before in a previous production. How is this character relevant to you? Can you share some of your thoughts about Suzette with us? What do you find most challenging/exciting about this role?

When I first read the play I was delighted by Suzette’s ability to turn everything to her advantage, even in the midst of so much confusion. She is so unassuming at first, and then the situation demands more and more of her and she really rises to the occasion. One of my favorite things about playing this role in Chicago was that I would purposefully try not to get any laughs for as long as possible. The play has plenty of frenzy from the get-go and I think it serves the play best for me to just be honest and simple at first. Suzette gets to have an extreme amount of fun later on and I wanted that side of her to be unexpected.

Spencer Kayden in 'Don't Dress for Dinner'; Photo Credit: Joan Marcus, 2012

What do you think the play is about?

Oh come now, it’s not about anything. It’s a really funny sex farce.

What is it like to perform in a farce like Don’t Dress For Dinner? Is the audience’s response vital?

Performing farce is one of the most enjoyable things I can think of. The characters in this play get put in such ridiculous situations and for it to work, we all have to take it extremely seriously. The less we play for laughs, the funnier it is. The audience’s response is certainly vital. Actors always feed off of their energy. It is so deeply satisfying to hear an audience belly-laughing.

How do you collaborate with a director?

I enjoy it when a director has me on a really long leash, reigning me in when necessary. In Chicago, Joey (John Tillinger) was great about letting us play and explore to our heart’s content. He didn’t have any pre-conceived notions about how the play was supposed to be performed. In fact, if he ever had me on a leash at all, he ended up taking it off entirely. He gave me such freedom it was delightful. That happened partly because Joey decided to make my character French, making it necessary to rewrite many of my lines to make them authentic for a French-speaker whose English is not perfect.

Spencer Kayden, Ben Daniels, and Patricia Kalember in 'Don't Dress for Dinner'; Photo Credit: Joan Marcus, 2012

Where did you get your training? Did you have any great teachers who influenced you?

I’ve been performing since I was 8 years old when I tagged along with my brother to an audition for The Hobbit at the local community center. I was cast as the Elfen Queen and my minions were all much taller than I was. (I have a photograph from that show up on the wall in my house. It still cracks me up.) I acted in the Young People’s Conservatory at South Coast Repertory. I did drama all through high school and then went to theater school at Northwestern. There was a moment when I was about to go to Berkeley and major in classical languages, then I woke up and realized that I would be denying myself what I like best — theater.

Don't Dress for Dinner plays at the American Airlines Theatre through June 17, 2012. For more information, click here.

Related Categories:
2011-2012 Season, A Conversation with, Don't Dress for Dinner, Education @ Roundabout, Star Spotlight, Upstage