Monday, April 28, 2014


Roger and Sherry have been married 20 years, and life has grown stale, and sex a bore, and when they are invited to a party they discover to their horror it’s a Swingers Bash, but a few drinks later, and after a number of hilarious views of the guests in action, they get into the swing of things. Then, to their surprise, the Morning After turns out to be the start of a second honeymoon! Yes, “Is There Sex After Marriage?” is definitely an Adult Comedy, but I can assure you its perceptions about human behavior are affirmative and definitely funny!

Jaret Sacrey as Roger and Gillian Brashear as Sherry merrily make the journey from marital coldness to carnal heat to connubial warmth. 

In multiple roles, Brad Lee Wind is delightful as docile neighbor Joe and affable stud Hank; Juliet Lemar runs the gamut from sensual Beth to bawdy Tammy to mousy Penny; Joel Berti is fun as earnest romantic Zack then lothario Bob; Melinda Hughes shines as discontented Mindy and seductive party animal Karen.

This world premiere romp is wittily written and daringly directed by Jeff Gould with delightfully appropriate songs (e.g. “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction") during the breaks. 

The simple Los Angeles sets by Allison Schenker are well lit by Steve Pope, with excellent costume choices by Jen Bendik.  Produced by Mike Abramson for Home Run Productions. Photos by Silvia Spross.

At Two Roads Theatre, 4348 Tujunga Avenue, Studio City, ongoing. Tickets: (323) 960-5770 or

Also reviewed in the June issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WHITE MARRIAGE …West Los Angeles

In Poland in 1890, in a Chekhovian-like setting, there are charming scenes of two young girls sharing a bedroom and giddily exchanging information about sex learned from dusty tomes and vivid rumors. One of them is betrothed to marry an innocent youth but she is bedeviled by fears and fantasies of huge penises. Until the girl was ten, her mother raised her in all appearances as a boy and even her own father was unaware of the switch. Apparently this created an alarming neuroses in the young girl and, either in her search for a penis of her own, or in fear of the dreadful pulsing things, she retreats into hysteria. As well she might.

Because in fact, the action of the play is inundated with a multitude of penises roaring out of unzipped flies, posing as innocent vegetables, appearing as noses, and even dangling from trees. Her own father pants after a large domestic servant, who at first registers disgust, but soon seems to enjoy the chase and apparently the catch. Then, as a rutting male, often wearing a boar’s head, he chases half naked wenches. Even grandpa is obsessed with his flagging member and uses an innocent family member to discharge his horniness. Only through this torrent of phalluses does the story gradually emerge.

Wonderful performances by a stellar cast, and picturesquely fast-paced direction by Ron Sossi, could not camouflage the plays obsession with more than theatrical revelation. I think even Freud would probably shake his head in wonderment over the degree of genital obsession in this play. Written by Tadeusz Różewicz, known as one of Poland's greatest contemporary writers, in 1975 when Poland was still under Communist rule, it has been called a "tragic farce."

At the Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles. For tickets: (310) 477-2055 or
Also reviewed in the May issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY

Monday, April 14, 2014

SOVEREIGN BODY …North Hollywood

A modern family are preparing Thanksgiving dinner, with the mother cooking, daughters  squabbling, grandma pleading, father hiding, guests quibbling, all an amusing preamble to the ritual gathering of relatives. Still, the event takes on a strange hue when a handsome man in a smart grey suit enters and hovers unseen by all but the mother. Is this spectral shadow a former lover, a dear departed, or merely a figment of her overactive imagination? 

Shockingly, in playwright Emilie Beck’s intriguing drama, he turns out to be a living metaphor for the tragedy that will rend this family to their depths. He is the destroyer that robs the mother of her capacity to control her body and her life. To tell more will deprive viewers of the chance to experience the emotional power of this play and decipher its mystery themselves.
Taylor Gilbert is indomitable as the mother who will not surrender her fighting spirit; Dani Stephens is delightful as a surly young girl on the brink of womanhood; Hannah Mae Sturges is adorable as a pliant teenager; Bryna Weiss is excellent as patient grandma as is Kevin McCorkle as the loyal husband; Jack Millard is seductive as the unwanted gentleman caller, and Anna Carini and John Cragen are a delight as reluctant invitees. 

 Director Scott Alan Smith keeps a fine balance between realism and expressionism. Multi-level set is by Stephen Gifford, with lighting by Derrick McDaniel, sound by David B. Marling and costumes by Jocelyn Hublau. Haunting film segments are by Darryl Johnson, with original music by Drew Price. 

 A Road Theatre Company world premiere production at the Historic Lankershim Arts Center, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, through May 24. Tickets: 866-811-4111 or
Also reviewed in the May issue of NOT BORN YESTERDAY.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


In 1972, at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual convention, Dr. John E. Fryer, wearing a mask and wig and using a voice-distorting microphone, declared “I am a homosexual. I am a psychiatrist.” to an audience that branded homosexuality a mental illness. In this play, playwright and psychiatrist Guy Fredrick Glass sensitively dramatizes a young psychiatrists struggle to come to grips with his own sexuality at a time when being openly gay would end his career. In light of our present awareness of gay rights, this production is a reminder of battles, internal and external, that had to be fought in this quest for human rights.

Matthew is in love with Jake, an activist who is boldly challenging the Saturday night ‘round-ups’ of homosexuals in homophobic Philadelphia in 1968. For what he deems professional reasons, Matthew hides behind a virtual mask and can only be himself with friends who are ‘out.’ However, when he is lured into aversion therapy by his psychiatric mentor he deludes himself that he is ‘cured’ which leads to tragedy and ultimately his salvation.

Under John Henry Davis’ unflinching direction the play illuminates, through the action and actual news footage, what dangerous challenges the Gay Pride movement faced from both government and ersatz science.  

Matt Crabtree is excellent as Matthew; Barry Pearl is chilling as the straight doctor determined to ‘save’ him; Kevin Held is deeply moving as the gay rights activist who is his lover; Richard Sabine is hilarious yet poignant as a self-hating gay patient; Christopher Frontiero is delightful as an opera-loving friend, and Jonathan Torres is charming as a young gay activist.

Racquel Lehrman of Theatre Planners produces this Gap In The Wall world premiere production. Plaudits to Joel Daavid for set and lighting, to Christopher Moscatiello for sound, to Shannon Kennedy for costumes and to Troy Hauschild for awesome projections.

At  Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, through May 4. For reservations and information (323) 960-7724 or

Photos by Ed Krieger.