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Steve Martin’s adaptation of 1910 farce both zany and literary

Cast members rehearse ‘The Underpants’ at Rockville Little Theatre.  COURTESY PHOTOCast members rehearse ‘The Underpants’ at Rockville Little Theatre. COURTESY PHOTO  Karen Fleming, who has taken on “almost every capacity in every theater in Montgomery County,” still acts on occasion. Recently she appeared, as one example, in “The Language Archive” at Silver Spring Stage.

But Fleming has also “dabbled” with directing since the 1980s – a role she is undertaking again for Rockville Little Theatre’s production of “The Underpants.”

Though it boasts a provocative title, “The Underpants” is in actuality a 1910 farce by Carl Sternheim, adapted for the stage by actor, comedian, and writer Steve Martin.

Among the other classic works adapted by Martin is “Cyrano de Bergerac,” which he turned into the screenplay for the 1987 romantic comedy film, “Roxanne.”

“I’m still acting, but I wanted to have more control over my vision of a play,” Fleming said. “Of course, directing is a lot more work.”

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