STILL playing on weekends at the Two Roads Theatre on Tujunga, in Studio City, is Jeff Gould”™s It”™s Just Sex! – a side-splitting and hilarious play about marriage, fidelity, lust and trust.
This hugely successful show is one of LA’s longest running comedies, now in its SECOND year!Â The cast has changed five times and the season has been extended, yet again, to Sunday, October 17th , 2010
Salvator Xuereb (CARL) (Men of a Certain Age, House, The Glades)
Gina LaPiana (KELLY) (The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip)
Gerald Downey (GREG) (Leverage, Mad Men, Scrubs)
Georgia Hatzis (LISA) (Medium, Lie to Me, Without a Trace)
Alle Ghadban (PHIL) (The Shield, Sleeper Cell, Jag)
Rachel Hollon (JOAN) (Pieces (of Ass); As The World Turns, Miss Julie)
Written by Jeff Gould and directed by Rick Shaw, in It”™s Just Sex!, three married couples get together for an evening of drinking and socializing while their kids are away at camp. But once the liquor starts flowing and truth games are initiated, secrets become revealed, boundaries are broken and reality gets swapped for fantasy.
The play begins with a bang when one of the couple”™s wives comes home and inadvertently catches her husband in flagrante delicto (caught in the act) with a busty prostitute. While her red-faced husband Phil (Alle Ghadban) buckles up and hustles the hooker out the door, Joan (Rachel Hollon) focuses on sanitizing the scene of the crime and preparing for their guests to arrive.
Once the middle-aged couples arrive, they quickly split into two gender groups. As we get to know them, we see that the men are, for the most part, horny and oversexed (not so young, dumb and full of – never mind) and the women are all ferociously intelligent, super-sexy hot mamas with legs that go for miles.
The host, Phil, is a silver-haired fox and a bit of a cad who prides himself on being an expert on everyone”™s drinking preferences. His chilly wife Joan extols the virtues of yoga, crediting the exercise discipline for her toned figure.
We learn that one guy, Greg (Gerald Downey), is a bit neurotic about his erectile dysfunction – something he blames on his ball-busting lawyer wife Lisa (Georgia Hatzis). Judging by the constant sniping at each other, their relationship is clearly strained. Eventually their tense one-upmanship turns rancid and vicious. Meanwhile, liberal-minded writer Carl and his wife Kelly (played respectively by Salvator Xuereb and Gina LaPiana) have their own issues.
The truth or drinking game initiated by Joan only serves to accelerate their collective drunken lurch towards debauchery. When a proposal to do a bit of wife-swapping is floated, the pop of a tequila bottle”™s cork punctures the awkward silence to hilarious effect.
Producer/Director Rick Shaw does a fantastic job staging this thought-provoking comedy. The intimate set is simple and versatile, also serving extremely well for a clever shadow-play sequence paired with some funky lighting effects. Even with six people present almost all the time, the tiny stage never feels crowded thanks to some expert blocking. Shaw elicits fearless performances from his fantastic and talented cast.
There are plenty of big belly laughs in the first two-thirds of Gould”™s play, before it threatens to turn into a serious, full-blown therapy session. Nevertheless, It”™s Just Sex! is a rollicking night of entertaining theatre that touches on some important issues.
As It”™s Just Sex! contains suggestive sexual behavior, adult language and themes, no one under 18 will be admitted.
Two Roads Theatre
4348 Tujunga Ave., Studio City, CA 91604
TICKETS: $25.00 Fridays and Sunday;Â $30.00 Saturdays
Buy tickets online – or – by Phone: 866-811-4111
Plays: Friday and Saturday at 8PM, Sunday at 7:30PM
Runs: Until Sunday, October 17th , 2010
Box Office: (818) 762-2282
This review first appeared on My Daily Find.
Review by Pauline Adamek.