by Steve Martin
In the tradition of Roxanne, adapted from the classic Cyrano de’ Bergerac, and A Simple Twist of Fate, adapted from Silas Marner, The Underpants originally donned the stage in pre-WWI times as the play Die Hose by Carl Sternheim. Adapted for contemporary audiences by Steve Martin, The Underpants brims with comedic events that are both sociopolitical and down-right funny. As Martin puts it, “Sternheim’s play is ribald, satirical, self-referential, and quirky.” And with Steve Martin adapting such a play, how could it help but be stomach-grippingly funny, too.
Set in 1910 in Dusseldorf, Germany, The Underpants focuses on a couple whose spark-less marriage nears its one-year mark. While observing a parade, the wife’s underpants unexpectedly fall to her ankles. In public even! The overbearing husband becomes obsessed with the potential humiliation he faces having a wife lose her underpants in front of hundreds of people. Meanwhile, the couple has rooms in their apartment to rent out and unlikely tenants enter the scene. Unbeknownst to the couple, both tenants rent the rooms in an attempt to get closer to the intriguing woman who lost her panties while perusing a public parade. Seduction and scandal ensue as the tenants intermingle with the couple and each other.
The New York Daily Times says, “Not since Monica Lewinsky’s thong almost toppled a presidency has a pair of panties caused such a national fuss.”
This show played February 17- March 12, 2005
The Underpants Cast and Production Staff
Mark Alan Johnston