What is a campaign manager to do when his or her candidate's honest campaign is slumping in the polls? Why, create a scandal!
What can possibly go wrong?
As the audience for "The Senator Wore Pantyhose" which is onstage now at Western Reserve Playhouse, will see, plenty.
The comic farce, which feels appropriate given the tumultuous presidential election year, centers on the campaign of Senator "Honest" Gabby Sandalson (Adam Young), whose integrity is actually costing him his chances of getting into the White House, according to polls and his campaign manager Tom Gordon (Bob Kenderes). So, while at a modest hotel in Pennsylvania, Gordon decides to try to fabricate a story about the senator being seen with another woman.
The plan goes wrong from the start. One, the hotel owner, Chauncy Quince (Marc Dusini), makes a couple of mistaken assumptions as to the identity of the senator's wife. This is in part due to recently sprung crook Paddy McMutton (Jim Hagan) disguising himself as a woman so he and his cohort Tony Pinella (Ben Merold) can find the money they stole and stashed away at the hotel years ago before Paddy was imprisoned. Nellie (Emmy Cohen), who was drafted for the campaign for photo opportunities along with her baby, winds up playing additional roles. Then, when Susan Sandalson (Rose Gabriele), Gabby's real wife, eventually shows up, Gordon has to do some fast thinking, and what he comes up with is one of the funnier moments in the show.
Meanwhile, the senator is not happy about Gordon's idea to ally the campaign with the Reverend Johnny Burgermeister (Barry Wakser), the famous (or perhaps infamous) televangelist who, along with his wife Honey Pie (Chelby Benson), runs a huge church and commands a strong television presence.
Brian Westerley directed the play, which was written by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore.
"The Senator Wore Pantyhose" will run Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 1, with curtain time at 8 p.m.
Western Reserve Playhouse is at 3326 Everett Road at the Revere crossroad in Bath Township, in the big gray barn. Call 330-620-7314 for reservations.