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'Run for Your Wife' star's been running a long time

Doug Stender in "Run For Your Wife" at

Doug Stender in "Run For Your Wife" at The John W. Engeman Theater in Northport . ( Photo by Paul DeGrocco ) Credit: Paul DeGrocco/Paul DeGrocco

'Run for Your Wife" is one of those sex farces the Brits are almost as well known for as warm beer and cool rock guitarists.

Such titles as "No Sex, Please, We're British" speak volumes when it comes to titillation that West End critics tolerate and American critics eviscerate.

Doug Stender, who played in "Run for Your Wife" on both sides of the Atlantic, gets another run in this Ray Cooney romp at the Engeman Theater in Northport through Feb. 21.

"It's a typical English farce that features women in their underwear," says Stender, who plays Det. Sgt. Troughton. He played the Reporter on Broadway, where "Run for Your Wife" lasted barely a month in 1989. Its London run exceeded 2,500 performances.

"Wife" weaves the improbable tale of a bigamist cabdriver who successfully juggles his double life until a fender bender leaves him so disoriented that he turns up in the wrong house at the wrong time.

"When the show came to New York," Stender recalls, "Ray Cooney made a deal to bring three London cast members in exchange for taking five Americans back to England. That's how I wound up in the show over there."

As for its swift Broadway demise, Stender, perhaps best known for the recurring role of Judge Joseph Flint on "Law & Order," blames bad timing. "The critics were much kinder to the American farce, 'Lend Me a Tenor,' which opened at the same time," he recalls.

Stender appeared in "Tenor" at the Engeman in 2008.

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