Lovers and laughter in Stage Coach farce

Barb Andree and Dan Hyde in Stage Coach Players' "Not Now Darling."
Barb Andree and Dan Hyde in Stage Coach Players' "Not Now Darling."

DeKALB – Stage Coach Players presents the farce "Not Now Darling" by Ray Cooney and John Chapman to close its 65th annual summer season. The production will run through Sunday, Oct. 14 at Stage Coach Theatre.

Directed by Tim Ball of DeKalb, "Not Now Darling" is one of Ray Cooney’s earliest plays.  The comedy is set at the London furrier of Bodley, Bodley and Crouch, where Gilbert Bodley, played by Dan Hyde, is determined to give his girlfriend, Janie McMichael, played by Erin Philbott, a very expensive mink coat. The problem is, both Gilbert and Janie are married. So Gilbert persuades his partner Arnold Crouch, played by Steve Challgren, to assist in a devious plot which produces more problems.

The plot thickens, doors slam and identities get mistaken over and over again as riotous humor abounds. Cooney is the author of more than 20 comedies that have been described as being in the “garters ‘n’ boxers" school of comedy where nothing is funnier than a dropped pair of drawers; something akin to the comedy of Benny Hill. 

Rounding out the ensemble cast are Barb Andree as Maude Bodley, Barb Kolb as Sue Lawson, Shawn Skau as Harry McMichael, Fara Maniaci as Miss Tipdale, D’Ann Hamilton as Mrs. Frencham, Bernie Schuneman as Mr. Frencham, Michael Mattingly as Mr. Lawson and Diane Ledbetter as Miss Whittington. 

"Not Now Darling" opened in London’s West End and on Broadway in 1970 and is performed often on the community theater circuit. Cooney once said about in writing comedy, “What you look for is a tragedy. People understand the predicaments that arise from certain situations and settings and that’s what they find all the funnier."

For more information, visit, or call the box office at 815-758-1940.

'Not Now Darling'

8 p.m. Oct. 11-13, 2 p.m. Oct. 14
Stage Coach Theater, , 126 South Fifth Street in DeKalb
Adults $12, children $9, or 815-758-1940.

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