By Lucas Shim
““There are a lot of laughs and it’s a great escape from what’s going on in the world today” – Mr.Randy Olea “
A Suspicion Gone Wrong
November 13, 2017
ENTERTAINMENT: “A Flea In Her Ear” is full of drama, comedy, and important life lessons
“There are a lot of laughs and it’s a great escape from what’s going on in the world today,” stated Director Randy Olea.
The Van Nuys High School Performing Arts Magnet and Actors in Action presented the Fall Play, “A Flea In Her Ear” on October 19, 20, 21, 26, and 27 in the Donna Hubbard Auditorium.
Based on the original French comedy written by Georges Feydeau in 1907, the Van Nuys High School’s adaptation of “A Flea In Her Ear” revolves around a Frenchwoman named Raymond Chandebise, played by Clara Pierone, who suspects that her husband, Victor Emmanuel Chandebise, played by Ian Foster, is secretly having an affair due to his sexual infidelity. With the help of her loyal friend, Lucienne Homenides de Histangua, played by Madeline Miller, Raymond ultimately attempts to capture and expose her husband’s “unfaithfulness.”
The play had a combination of humorous acting and an intense storyline, and entertained audiences with an exceptional and amusing theatrical experience.
In the first act, the setting takes place in the Chandebise residence in 20th century Paris, where Victor speaks with Dr. Finache, played by Zack Gentry. Victor talks to him about his nervous disorder which turns out to be the actual cause of his weak sexual performance.
Meanwhile, Raymond Chandebise, who is unaware of her husband’s condition, devises a plan to expose Victor by writing an anonymous love letter from a fake admirer–which Lucienne writes herself. The letter is meant to determine Victor’s faithfulness by testing whether or not he will go see the “anonymous” woman at the designated location.
However, when Victor receives the letter, he believes that it was truly meant for his friend, Romain Tournel, played by Luke Gordon. Tournel, who becomes fascinated by the peculiar letter, is known to actually have emotional feelings towards Victor’s wife.
One of the highlights of the first act included the comical relationship between Raymond and Lucienne during their discussion of the plan, which was further showcased by the talented performances of Clara Pierone and Madeline Miller.
Another memorable piece was Victor’s clumsy nephew and secretary, Camille Chandebise, played by Vincent Macias. Audiences viewed Camille as one of the sweet and loving characters of the play, especially because of his amusing rare speech impediment.
Lucienne’s gritty husband, Don Carlos Homenides de Histangua, played by Darian Calderon, was also one of the highlighted moments of the show.
The actor is known for his previous outstanding performance as Gaston in the “Beauty and the Beast” musical back in March. Wearing a charro suit and carrying dual revolvers, Don Carlos brought out the majority of laughter from audiences.
Then in the second act, the set was changed to a brothel, the Hotel Coq d’Or.
The story starts off with new faces, starring Bianca Akbiyik as Olympe Ferallion, Antonio Lewis as Augustin Ferallion, Janel Javier as Eugenie, Celeste Martinez as Baptistine, Ian Holden as Herr Shwartz, and Ian Foster as his character-double, Poche.
The first scene begins on a normal day in Hotel Coq d’Or when Augustin Ferallion repeatedly orders his workers around in the brothel.
Audiences noticed that the second act began to shift into a new storyline when characters unexpectedly and coincidentally bump into each other in the house of ill repute.
Consisting of punches, kicks, gunshots, and screaming, the play was elevated with vigorous drama and comedy.
One of the workers, Poche, who looks completely identical to Victor Emmanuel himself, confuses the Chandebise family and other characters.
Actor Ian Foster successfully plays two distinctive characters with opposite personalities; Victor being a mature, nervous individual, whereas Poche is a lazy and clueless slacker.
“A Flea In Her Ear” has a history of different adaptations: the 1967 BBC television series starring Anthony Hopkins, the 1968 20th Century Fox feature film directed by Jacques Charon, and several other stage plays in the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, and United States.
The Actors in Action manages to produce an enjoyable theatrical experience for audiences with talented actors and actresses, delightful character interactions, and a comedic storyline.
Mr. Randy Olea and the Performing Arts Magnet will return for the students of Van Nuys High School on Mar. 28 with 42nd Street, the highly-anticipated annual spring musical.
PHOTOS BY THERESA NGUYEN MIRROR STAFF