The Underpants
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Ron Severdia

“Don’t underestimate the power of a glimpse of lingerie,” says one of the characters in Ross Valley Players’ current production The Underpants. Originally written by German playwright Carl Sternheim in 1911, Steve Martin has done a hilarious adaptation for a modern audience.

The crux of the story is that Theo Maske’s (Kurt Gundersen) wife Louise (Michelle Pava Mills) accidentally lets her underpants fall down during a public ceremony bringing shame to her husband and fame to Louise who suddenly finds herself being pursued by two young men who witness her notorious display.

The busybody neighbor Gertrude (Maureen O’Donoghue) finds out that Louise’s husband isn’t doing his manly duty so she encourages Louise to have an affair with one of the young men pursuing her: “You deserve something inside you besides sauerkraut.” One of the young men further encourages Louise: “You are the flint. I am the fire and he (Louise’s husband) is the wet piece of wood.”

It’s hard to beat Steve Martin when it comes to bawdy humor, and with an excellent cast directed by Marin Shakespeare Company’s artistic director Robert Currier, you’re in for a fun filled night that, though not as revealing as a Victoria Secret catalogue, reveals a whole new way of life for Louise Gundersen.

For tickets or more information call (415) 456-9555 or visit

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