“It is a lovely country, the land of beer, Wagner, and terror.”

I have attempted to write this review for ages, but life keeps getting in the way! On September 27, 2014 I went up to Wilmington to see my good friend George in a play. It was actually a special occasion. See not only was George playing the lead, but this was also his first producer credit. George and two of his friends, Brian & Nina Cournoyer have formed a fledgling production company, C’est La Guerre, to bring art to the masses in Wilmington, the idea being guerilla theater and art installations and the like that are affordable and accessible to the average person. It’s all very exciting.


Baroness Augusta Von Elsner (Tom Briggs) chastises her son, the Baron Wilhelm Von Elsner (Troy Rudeseal).

This production happens to be The Lady in Question by Charles Busch, which involved George, Brian and other menfolk in drag. Always a good time! The play is a satire of the 40s era war and spy dramas, that revolves around a famous pianist who finds herself pulled into the drama of an American actress being held hostage in Nazi Germany. Doesn’t sound like the stuff of laughter, but oh it was.


Professor Erik Maxwell (Erik Maasch) realizes he’s falling for the self-absorbed pianist, Gertrude Garnet (George Domby).

Most of the actors played dual roles. Such as David Bollinger playing both Professor Mittelhoffer and Doktor Maximilian, Tom Briggs the former artisitc director of Thalian Hall played both Augusta Von Elsner and Raina Aldric (note both are female characters!), and the lovely Anna Gamel played both Hugo Hoffman and Lotte Von Elsner. These wonderful actors all pulled off a fantastic show, under difficult circumstances. Bravo to all of them, though I’m really not surprised! Time and time again Wilmington proves to have some amazing theater talent!


Lotte Von Elsner (Anna Gamel), the Baron’s niece, is suspicious of Gertrude’s role in the attempts to break Raina Aldric free from her uncle’s jail.

The play was performed in a speakeasy downtown, with a small intimate setting that lent well to the play. For C’est La Guerre’s first outing they did an outstanding job and have raised their bar high! In fact, I was told that the play sold out every single night to standing room only. People were even turned away at the door. The Blind Elephant was a wonderful site that transported me away for the night into another time. I felt like I was living in Boardwalk Empire and should have worn a flapper dress and sensible heeled shoes. I applaud everyone involved, you all did an extremely great job! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.


Gertrude Garnet (George Domby) prepares to shoot the Baron Wilhelm Von Elsner (Troy Rudeseal).

Oh, and P.S. – The alternate title for this post was “She’s Just Gertie From the Block.”

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