Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Theater review: Outrageous, Sexy, (nekkid) Romp at Addison Theatre Center
It's a great piece of theater and worth your time and money.
When I heard the title and saw the warnings about Alejandro de la Costa's racy Outragous, Sexy, (nekkid) Romp (presented by Mark-Brian Sonna Productions at Addison Theatre Center through June 18), I didn't know what to expect. I called one of my tried-and-true theater buddies to see if she would go with me. She told me, after the show and my warnings, that it wasn't as shocking as she'd expected.
"It wasn't?" I asked in stunned amazement.
"Not at all."
"What did you expect?" I asked.
"A naked orgy," she replied with straight face.
Well, folks, the sexy romp is outrageous but, without giving away any pivotal scenes, I can tell you there aren't any orgies in the show.
Seriously, I am always impressed by the courage of MBS Productions to do what I did not know was possible – naked actors on a stage in the middle of a conservative neighborhood – wow. That in and of itself deserves applause, but don't let the shock value keep you away from this one. It's a great piece of theater and worth your time and money with all the key ingredients for theatrical success: It's well-written, directed, and acted, and above all, it's funny as all get out.
Congratulations to Director Charles Ballinger for superb casting and stage direction that brought a great script to life.
The play is about committed gay couple Casey (Andrew Bryan) and Keith (Phillip Gage). They've make a vow to their committed/open relationship so when Casey's ex-girlfriend Lara (Emily Murphy) shows up at their house jealous Keith wonders what it's like to be with a woman. And yes, things get messy.
The icing on the cake is the flamboyant cross-dressing houseguest, Lovely Uranus, played so masterfully by Mark-Brian Sonna. I told him after the show I think he may have a new calling as a drag queen. He is absolutely hilarious in this part! And the wigs … loved them all! Kudos go to Larry E. Groseclose for creating some amazing costumes for Lovely including the foot high neon pink wig.
Bryan and Gage do an outstanding job convincing us they are indeed a happily involved couple. Their costumes were great as well. I particularly loved the Mexican restaurant outfit Casey wore when he went off to work.
Emily Murphy is awesome as the nymphomaniac, take charge Lara who brings conflict into the previously happy home.
During the main sexy (nekkid) scene, I credit Lighting Designer Alejandro de la Costa for using just enough lighting so actors are seen but not too seen. Perfect!
Joe McCarly does a super job with the props. I've seen a few shows at Stone Cottage now and this one, like the others, makes good use of food and drink as a backdrop for the action.
Mark-Brian selects music appropriate to the scene and allows the lyrics to become part of the show – nice job. As always, it is nice to see Cory Wickware holding down the fort out front. (Missed you, Kim!)
Overall, I believe good theater starts with good writing and this play has just that which is why MBS Productions is often recognized by The Column Awards. I highly recommend you get out of the box and over to the Stone Cottage to check out Outrageous, Sexy, (nekkid) Romp. You'll be glad you did!
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