Thursday, 28 August 2014 03:14

Theatre Review - IT’S JUST SEX

Written by Dianne Williams, Theatre Reviewer
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After two years of sold out Los Angeles performances, and eleven months Off-Broadway, this award winning, laugh out loud original one act dramedy makes its return to Los Angeles at the Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood.

Vincent Spano, Stephanie Fredricks and John Colella star in "IT'S JUST SEX," written by Jeff Gould and directed by Rick Shaw and now playing at the Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood.
PHOTO CREDIT: Maura McCarthy

“It’s Just Sex”, tells the story of an evening at the home of Joan and Phil, and two other couples, Kelly and Carl, Lisa and Greg who are invited for an evening of obligatory and boring conversation, and drinks.

When Joan (Reamy Hall) arrives home early to prepare for their guests she finds her husband Phil (John Colella) in a compromising position with a long legged prostitute (Claudia Graf). Oops! Joan carries on with her preparations, sanitizes the area where she caught the couple and insists that the night continue as planned, and putting on happy faces, they greet their guests.

Kelly (Betsy Russell) is a free spirit, and her husband Carl (Vincent Spano), a libido driven wise cracker, who would prefer to stay home with Kelly and have sex rather than attend another boring night with Phil and Joan. Lisa (Stephanie Fredricks) and Greg (Andy Hirsch) are in a sexually stagnant relationship plagued by Greg’s inability to perform, and Lisa’s relentless criticisms also arrive.

A scorned Joan, alcohol, and a truth or dare drinking game add an element of intrigue to the usual evening get together. The drinking game reveals sexual undertones amidst soon seducing each couple into agreeing to indulge in a night carnal frivolity, swapping.

In the afterglow, I mean aftermath, couples find themselves immersed in the corollaries of the evening events. These characters are challenged to address the difference between theory and reality, and what it means to their relationships.

An exquisite top flight ensemble brings layers to these characters along with laugh out loud moments throughout.

John Colella and Reamy Hall star in "IT'S JUST SEX," written by Jeff Gould and directed by Rick Shaw and now playing at the Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood.
PHOTO CREDIT: Maura McCarthy

Reamy Hall’s performance of Joan was especially genius. Her transformation at the opening as a mealy-mouth wife, to the tipsy manipulative, powerful and vengeful force behind the couple swapping, through the honest vulnerable woman freed to express her hurt was particularly noteworthy.

Vincent Spano as Carl, could be counted on for his metronome comedic timing, bringing home the laughs, whenever the mood was heavy. He was brilliant as the cavalier sexual Guy, who is warm and tender when he speaks of his love for his wife, Kelly. Betsy Russell’s played Kelly to a tea, she’s believable as an accepting, loving carefree wife. Stephanie Fredricks and Andy Hirsch as an enigmatic polarized couple were riveting, wit . John Colella was a convincing philandering Phil. Claudia Graf, was memorable as the playful hooker.

Reminiscent of Bob & Carol, Ted & Alice “It’s Just Sex”, begs the same questions forty five years after the movie: Is it Just Sex? What impact does swapping have on a marriage? Can sex be purely recreational? Are sexual relations based upon social and cultural norms or is there a natural instinct to have multiple partners.

“It’s Just Sex” is a sophisticated, sexy, belly laugh performance, with fantastic acting and music. You really should see this, bring friends it’s fun.

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Read 9903 times Last modified on Thursday, 28 August 2014 03:24

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