The actor playing one of the more colorful characters in “The Producers,” opening tomorrow (Tuesday) night in Des Moines, says he’s developed a true appreciation for a few of the many challenges women face every day. Stuart Marland is playing Roger DeBris, the man who’s hired by the producers to direct their show, and Roger has, um, a wardrobe issue. Marland says “I guess technically he would be a transvestite because he’s a man who wears a dress, but (laughing) we don’t usually refer to him that way. He’s actually on his way to a costume ball…but he enjoys his costume balls so that might be a little bit of a clue.” Marland, a 45-year-old San Diego native, has been playing Marland for just over a year on this world tour. He wears a specially-made set of high heels — which he says took weeks for him to really master — and a corsetted dress with a long beaded train. Marland says “A dress with a train is not meant to be backed up in and I do have staging where I have to back up which means I have to kick that dress from underneath and sometimes the heels get stuck in the train and I have to be really careful when I move otherwise I’ll end up on the floor…which is not a pretty picture.” Marland says he’s heard women for years talk about having to watch what they eat so they can wear certain outfits — and now he understands, all too well. He laughs and says “It’s shocking to me. I really have to watch what I eat or I can’t fit in it. That is something that I’ve learned, the appreciation of that, when the ladies say they’re watching what they’re eating to fit into their dress. I believe it.” “The Producers” is playing at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines through Sunday. For more information, surf to “www.civiccenter.org”.
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