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Commonweal presents satirical 'Hay Fever'

By Andrea Faiad

afaiad@postbulletin.com

Step inside the Bliss family home and learn what not to do.

In playwright Noel Coward's comedy of (bad) manners "Hay Fever," set in the English countryside home, a retired actress, her writer husband and their two eccentric children each invite guests for the weekend without telling one another or the maid.

The Commonweal Theatre Co. production opens July 12 in Lanesboro.

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"In its genre it's one of the best plays ever written," says Jamie Horton, visiting director from Denver. "It is a fabulous satire."

All the visitors are romantic hopefuls, whose hopes are quickly dashed by the self-absorbed Blisses.

But, the guests do get involved as supporting players in an increasingly convoluted series of scenes and intrigues. Two days of parlor games, guest-swapping, and play-acting ensue.

Erin Appel, Scott Dixon, Courtney Ell, Eric Graves, Carney Gray, Leanna Hieber, Eric Knutson, Adrienne Krocheski and Lisa Weaver are in the cast.

Coward, one of the most produced playwrights in the world, wrote this play in three days in 1924, early in his career.

It went on to become one of his most-produced works.

Horton says "Hay Fever" showcases Coward's unique style, extraordinary wit and language.

"The play itself is just a gem," Horton adds. "Coward …; is a genius of his day."

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