WILKES-BARRE — Let’s get one thing straight. Cosmetic company vice presidents John Baker and David McGachen want to spend a long weekend at a resort simply playing golf, certainly not cheating on their wives.
“At the end of the day, I don’t think he ever would be unfaithful, even if he was tempted,” Allen Bonk, of Wilkes-Barre, said of John Baker, the character he portrays Nov. 10-19 in the King’s College production of “Whose Wives Are They Anyway?”
Despite their pure intentions, Baker and his co-worker find themselves in trouble because their new boss, D.L. Hutchinson, whose firm recently acquired their company, is staying at the very same resort.
When this new boss runs into McGachen, she lets him know she would never want to employ anyone who would take a mini-vacation without his spouse.
Soon Alan J. Krier, of Maple Shade, N.J., who plays McGachen, will gaze deeply — or perhaps frantically — into Bonk’s eyes and insist, “I definitely want you to be my wife.”
“Let’s get you to the beauty parlor and the dress shop,” one golfing buddy tells the other, because the best solution they can devise, while their real wives are off shopping in New York City, is for Baker to dress as a woman and pretend to be McGachen’s better half.
“I’ll have a lovely set of size 14 heels,” Bonk said before a recent rehearsal, estimating he’ll have to change back and forth between a masculine appearance and a feminine one a la Robin Williams in “Mrs. Doubtfire” at least seven times, because when Hutchinson learns Baker is at the resort, too, Baker will have to meet her as himself, with Tina the receptionist posing as his wife.
“It could be more like 10 times,” director Sheileen Godwin said.
Complicating the plot will be the disapproval of the straight-laced club manager, Mrs. Carlson, who has no patience with “sexual shenanigans.”
The club’s telephone system is being rewired, too, which only adds to the confusion.
For a college-age cast more familiar with cell phone technology than with circa-1982 land lines, extensions and switchboards, that part of the script offers a glimpse into old-fashioned communication systems and the situations in which they might not have worked so well.
“It would have been frustrating,” said Dorothy Monforte, of Grahamsville, N.Y., who plays Mrs. Carlson.
“My nana had those old phones,” said cast member Skyler Makuch, of Mountain Top. “I could listen in (on an extension in another room) and hear her talking about where she hid the Christmas presents.”
Makuch plays the golf club’s housekeeper, a character who “just does her job,” as opposed to the club’s handyman, Wilson, who complains almost non-stop about his bad back, painful feet, etc., and more often than not, has his hand out for a tip.
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT
IF YOU GO
What: ‘Whose Wives Are They Anyway?’
Who: Presented by King’s College theater department
Where: George P. Maffei II Theatre, Administration Building, 133 N. River St., King’s College, Wilkes-Barre
When: Nov. 10 to 19 with performances 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays
Tickets: $12; $7 seniors, $5 students