Written and Directed by Dan Frischman
Produced by Allen Levin and Ariel Cohen
Two Roads Theatre is a lovely theatre space on Tujunga, between Moorpark and Ventura, nestled amongst some whimsical antique shops and cafes. It’s a bit of a magical spot, and the theatre is a cozy and comfortable place, and always has something special on.
The current ‘special’ is Sex, Faith, and Jason Wexler, a comical, romantic romp through the frustrating world of bi-religious dating. Jason, played brilliantly by Justin Truesdale, is a 20-something, bored investment banker in search of love. He spots Faith, played by the sublime Alexandra Bayless, through his Uber window. Faith is hosting an art opening and Jason takes a chance, crashes the party and sparks fly.
Alexandra Bayless and Justin Truesdale
After a few weeks of phone dating they finally meet for dinner. They are clearly falling for each other, and end up at his place, but at the last minute Faith drops the ‘I’m a Catholic and I’m saving myself for marriage’ bomb…
The rest of the play is the two of them trying to figure out if a Jew and a Catholic in love can be anything other than a punchline.
Faith, Sex and Jason Wexler is a really funny play. All the characters are superb and brilliantly written and remind us to absolutely never listen to anyone but ourselves when it comes to love. Jason’s best friend Randy, a cross between Jack Black and Rosie O’Donnell, is played with hilarious reality by Tony Nunes, we all have a friend like him! And as Jason stumbles through the minefield of dating a devout catholic woman, and his own Jewish faith suddenly becoming more important than ever, we cannot help but laugh at the ridiculousness of the obstacles that we ourselves create everyday to make it impossible to achieve happiness.
There is a lot of sex in this play, even though Jason and Faith cannot actually ‘do it’, like teenagers, they do everything but ‘it’, on stage, and with most of their clothes on. So don’t take the kids, or your maiden aunt, unless you have unusual relationships with both.
Dan Frischman, writer and director, has created a very believable situation with very believable characters and very believable consequences, which is why it succeeds so well. The sexual situations are handled with honesty and care for the squirming audience, and it all works out rather well. This level of intimacy is a tough thing to attempt, and I’ve seen some awkward results, but this play certainly wasn’t one of them.
There are some lovely comic turns by Curtis Webster as Faith’s father and church Deacon, subjecting Jason to the expected level of familial pressure and Sharon Spence as Jason’s Rabbi, who really rakes him over the semitic coals, all guilt and pessimism.
Justin Truesdale (l.), Tony Nunes, Dan Frischman
Even Dan Frischman pops up, taking on the role of a wise old married golfer, who sets Jason back on the right path just when it all seems too much for him, a really wonderful moment in the play.
Jason and Faith are really great characters and have terrific chemistry, which really pulls the whole story together. In the end we, the audience, are genuinely falling for them ourselves, hoping they can work it out, seeing a little of our own crazy couplings in their love story.
I highly recommend Sex, Faith, and Jason Wexler, another great original play from the team at Two Roads Theatre. It’s an interesting way to spend an evening in the Valley that’s for sure!
The play runs from February 26th through April 3rd 2016. Friday & Saturday nights at 8pm and Sunday nights at 7pm.
Jason Wexler - Justin Truesdale
Faith Morgan - Alexandra Bayless
Bob Morgan - Curtis Webster
Randy - Tony Nunes
Rabbis Meyers - Sharon Spence
Golf Gary - Dan Frischman
Voice overs - Barbara Goodson & David Miller
Stage Manager & Program Design - Steve Brock
Set Design - Case Williams
Lighting Design - Marissa Vaughan
Booth - Joe Fillipone
Illustration - Nicole Wolfinger