Wild and crazy ‘Underpants’ at Miner’s Alley

Posted 8/10/10

In 1910-11, German playwright Carl Sternheim penned “The Underpants,” a satire about a beautiful, neglected young housewife Louise, who enjoyed a …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.

Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

Wild and crazy ‘Underpants’ at Miner’s Alley


In 1910-11, German playwright Carl Sternheim penned “The Underpants,” a satire about a beautiful, neglected young housewife Louise, who enjoyed a brief moment of fame when her underpants came untied and dropped while she was watching a parade — just at the Kaiser passed by.

Fast forward to 2002: Fortunately, the wild and crazy— and brilliant— Steve Martin discovered “The Underpants” and rewrote it in his fast-paced, witty style, a farce that opened Off-Broadway in New York and has been performed nationally and internationally since — always with lots of laughing going on.

“The Underpants” plays through Aug. 29 at Miners Alley Playhouse, in Golden, a repeat of a previous success.

Act I opens as fussy bureaucratic German husband Theo (John Greene) berates his lively young wife Louise (Haley Johnson). He is utterly humiliated over her brief loss of her drawers during a recent parade and fearful that the scandal will cost him his job. Her responses raise feminist ideas at a time when it wasn’t OK.

Tight with his money, Theo has posted a “for rent” sign for the spare bedroom in the couple’s apartment (A cheery Germanic room designed in primary colors by Richard Pegg of Highlands Ranch).

Potential renters appear, aware of Louise’s charms: first cape-clad poet Franklin Angelo Versati III (Chris Bleau), full of flowery and suggestive talk. “I’m a poet, unpublished, I’m proud to say! … I want to sleep with you. It will only take a minute,” he tells the excited Louise, then rushes off to write a poem.

Next, in shuffles Benjamin (K)ohen (with a K), a Martin touch recognizing prevailing anti-Semitism. Christian Mast, with black hat, sidelocks and body language, upholds his reputation as resident funny guy at Miners Alley. Theo has told him he can have the room and decides to divide it and collect twice as much rent.

Johnson is an accomplished comic actress and winks and wiggles her way through this production, provided with a number of funny lines by Martin.

The characters all speak with a German accent, which adds to the silliness and gives a sort of rhythm to each scene.

Paige Lynn Larson plays Gertrude, a nosy neighbor who is enjoying all the fuss and encouraging Louise to have some fun when stuffy Theo is away. In fact, she hopes to have some fun herself.

The final character, uptight Herr Klinglehoff, is played by Dell Domnick. He is also interested in the room — and Louise — and by now, the poet has gone off in pursuit of another woman.

Well, almost final. A roller skating king in crown and green velvet cape swoops in briefly. You really need to be there.

Director Rick Bernstein has concocted a tightly paced bit of summer silliness, overlaid by Martin’s intelligence and wit.

If you go:

“The Underpants” by Steve Martin, plays through August 29 at Miners Alley Playhouse, 1224 Washington St., Golden. Performances: 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays; 6 p.m. Sundays, except Aug. 29 when there will be a matinee only at 2 p.m. 303-935-3044 (24 hours), www.minersalley.com. (See website for Golden promotional offers).


Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.