Do you ever wonder why you never see anybody’s underpants on campus? It is probably because you are looking in the wrong place. Actor Steve Martin’s modern adaptation of “The Underpants” is based on the original 1910 German comedy written by Carl Sternheim.Engineering freshman Josh Katzenstein, the director, brought his idea of doing “The Underpants” to Basement Arts because he wanted to break away from the vast amount of serious plays at the University. “The Underpants” has given Katzenstein the opportunity to make a lighthearted play, where not only the audience has a good time, but the cast can enjoy making it. Katzenstein said that “I would love somebody to say to me, after the show, it looked like they were enjoying themselves up there.” The title of the play, although humorous, is not misleading — the story does in fact revolve around a pair of underpants. The play starts with Theo Maske, a stereotypical old-fashioned businessman, worried that he will go into financial ruin because his wife’s underpants fell down at the parade for the king. Soon afterward a number of men come to Theo to rent a room from him, but these men haven’t come for the view outside. Despite being a comedy, “The Underpants” makes a number of important messages about feminism, vanity and our obsession with sex. The first two vices are seen in all the characters, but the message about feminism is more focused on the growth of Louise. While she is a very funny, open and energetic character, there is a powerful message about feminism as she changes from an old-fashioned obedient housewife to a modern, independent woman. Once all the characters come together, the play turns into a hilarious, fast-paced ride. The comedy is filled with a lot of Martin’s slapstick humor, such as politically incorrect jokes and character stereotypes. While the humor may not be serious, the messages made about our society are.

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