Archikulture Digest

Bedroom: 5 Comedies

Bedroom: 5 Comedies

By Joseph Bologna and Renee Taylor

Breakthrough theatre, Winter Park FL</strong>

It’s Valentine’s Day weekend, and it’s time for some hot bedroom based comedy action. Here are 5 short plays with a common quilt: We open with “David and Nancy” (Dir. Melody Carson), it’s the night before Nancy’s (Brandy Hooper) wedding and she’s fast asleep. Her paranoid father David (Tom Grimmer) comes in, he’s heard a non-existent noise on their non-existent terrace. He’s got an ulterior motive; he wants her to call it off. Just because her groom is a top ranked medicals student with good looks, good prospects and good manners it means his little girl is going away. In the sort of switch that only short plays will tolerate, he changes his mind after she holds fast to her plans. Cute, but weak on motivation.

“Bill and Laura” (Dir. Jennifer Rea) is another familiar story, although much better executed. Norm (John Reid Adams) hosts a dinner party not realizing Bill (Jo’el Perez) and Laura (Jessica Yazzolino-Konecny) are in a bitter divorce. They each arrive with their dates and things get awkward long before the mousse arrives. They start slugging it out, insulting their cross dates in an increasingly bitter slugfest. Just when you think blood will flow, they realize they are still attracted to each other, although the business of living together might still be out of reach. Perez and Yazzolino-Konecny did a skillful job of building and blowing off the battle of lost sex, and I was impressed with the results.

Another clever title comes with “Alan, Betty and Riva.” (Dir. Lorraine Bouchard) Alan (David Clapsaddle) is cheating with sexy Betty (Grace Habegger) but won’t ditch his unseen wife. But he holds out the possibility, so long as Betty agrees to a threesome with “Sex Therapist” Riva (Nancy Ford). Riva is about as blasé as can be, her only concern beyond prompt payment is the prompt departure of the clients, her schedule is clockwork tight. Betty takes a stand, it’s out on the window ledge and maybe, just maybe Alan can string here along another week or two. Riva just hopes she doesn’t land on her 2 o’clock party. It’s silly but full of strong characters: Clapsaddle has the best actor name so far this year and he’s a puffing pigeon and full of himself while Habeggar seems genuinely in love with him. But’s its world weary Ms. Ford that makes this work, her threesomes are not only sordid but mostly devoid of anything approaching sexual satisfaction.

“Nick and Wendy” (dir. Karen Casteel) notches things up, here we find ex-marine Nick (Dean Walkuski) dragged to a self-help seminar by his perky wife Wendy (Xan Khan). He got though boot camp, but this may be beyond his pain threshold. He grouses, but comes back from session one a happy man. He’s one up on his wife, but after round two she’s the happy one. After all four sessions they are both elated but each soon falls back to their true natures. Its short term growth experience, and Walkuski and Kahn have the bitter chemistry that a real married couple takes years to build.

We wrap up with “Mr. Lewis and Mrs. Wexel” (Dir. by Marty and Arleen Radner). They are both in a retirement community and Mr. Lewis (Marty Radner) the only man not on a walker. He attempts to seduce Mrs. Wexler (Arleen Radner) but she’s having none of that foolsihness. Things are looking bleak, his brag about supplying J. C Penny’s with womens half sizes dosn’t get him as far as a their duet of aches and pains. This cute segment has the best line of the evening, she dismisses his career with “So you make up in volume what you lack in taste?” trues words were never spoken. If you’re married, you’ll see something true in this program. And if you’re not, well, fair warning.

For more information, please visit http://www.breakthroughtheatre.com or look them up on Facebook.


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