MBS Productions' Adam and Eve is both wildly wicked and thought-provoking
What if the story about the original sin committed in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve had nothing to do with man's quest for equal knowledge with God but rather Satan's attempt to keep man and woman perpetually at odds with each other for an eternity?
This is but one concept explored by playwright Alejandro de la Costa in the outrageously hilarious and thought-provoking world premiere of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Delights, or Love produced by MBS Productions at the Stone Cottage Theatre in Addison, Texas.
Billed as a religiously incorrect version of what may have occurred centuries ago during creation, the story begins in complete darkness with new age type music that effectively simulated what nothingness may have felt like before the first human was created by the cosmic force called different names based on whether one believes in a religious deity.
When there is officially LIGHT we find Adam, played by the incredibly talented Jason Clements, on a set cleverly designed with minimal props representing the Garden of Eden, curled up in a fetal position fully clothed, a clear departure from the fig leaf teachings a number of us have had.
Not understanding his surroundings nor why he is even there, if he is even there because he has no reference of before, Adam seeks to make sense of this strange new, yet beautiful oasis.
His first order of business was naming everything in the garden, including himself. "I am, Adam." He proceeds in like fashion with the ever-present fruit bowl that is never empty. "I will call you...banana. You...pineapple." He named the earth and the deity he thought had to be out there simply "God".
He even gave a name to the appendage hanging between his legs, which when he discovered it drew huge bursts of laughter. "I will call you...penis, because if you were humongous, you would be called "cock."
Clements' adept interpretation of how this may have played out was funny but at the same time fascinating enough for one to ponder "did it really happen like that?"
After the newness of his existence has worn off after a couple of days later, we finding Adam extremely bored with himself and his surroundings. He tells whoever it is out there that he is alone and needs some companionship.
On the 3rd day upon rising with sore ribs, Adam has a wonderful surprise: Eva, played by the beautiful Lisa D'Alessandro who is also fully clothed. But Adam soon discovers he has a problem when he speaks to her. She can't communicate. At least not in his language, hence an eternity of communication problems between men and women.
Eager to get through to this beautiful creature, Adam indulges in an exercise of comparing body parts which seems to work, with Eva repeating the words. However, when he gets to his penis and realizes Eva doesn't have one, Adam proclaims rather confused "you must be defective" that had the audience in an uproar.
The pair discuss and discover each other's genitals via groping, get excited and unable to control themselves, commit the 1st consummation. As expected, it ends dismally with Adam unsure what the hell has just happened and apologetic and the gifted D'Alessandro responding in her still heavy accent with impeccable comedic timing "She no fulfill; no fulfill" that was an absolute riot.
As time progresses, Eva's speech becomes better, so much so that her vocabulary starts to increase rapid-fire with words randomly popping into her head. She declares herself "smarter than Man!", then "I am a wonderful man', and finally "I am a wo-MAN!"
As Adam debates whether Eva is right because he was first, therefore he is better than she is, in another finely executed comedic moment, D'Alessandro retorts she is better because "I can tolerate pain because I have to put up with YOU!"
Watching all of this in the background is the enigmatic Serpentum, played masterfully by the handsome JP Cano, who has found the opening he needs and proceeds to seduce and titulate Eva into eating the apple while Adam is away, with the persistence and charisma of a Latin paramour. Unable to resist, Eva sleeps with Serpentum.
After the 2nd consummation while Eva is in a sweet state of afterglow, playing and cuddling with Serpentum, Adam returns and finds the two in their compromising position. As the two make excuses, Adam sends Eva down to the river with Serpentum's clothes to wash the apple "stain" out of them. When Serpentum asks seductively "why" he is sending Eva away, it is clear Adam wants to deal with the situation man-to-man.
And deal with it he does. Or doesn't. Serpentum puts the same moves on Adam as he did with Eva. The interplay/foreplay between the two men is hysterical, with Clements having some wonderful Will Ferrell moments trying to resist the incredibly sexy snake. Throughout most of the play Serpentum is nearly nude, holding an article of clothing over his genitals. In this scene, he maintains this even when wrestling with Adam during the seduction, which was choreographed well and didn't appear like he was purposely trying to keep the fabric in place.
As expected, Serpentum ultimately has his way and sleeps with Adam, marking the 3rd consummation. As funny as this scene was, I couldn't help but wonder if sexuality is as rigid as some would have you to believe, or if all of us fall somewhere in the middle of the famous Kinsey scale.
Later, we find Adam in his own state of contentment, cuddled up with Serpentum. He asks Serpentum if "the sex was better with him or Eva" in a game of cat and mouse to get the reptile to confess to sleeping with his girl. Serpentum tries to evade the line of questioning but eventually admits the indiscretion, which upsets Adam. Not because Serpentum slept with Eva but because Adam wasn't Serpentum's first, which Clements played the jilted lover role to the hilt.
Eva returns from the river and discovers the two men in varying degrees of non-clothing. Knowing Serpentum had seduced Adam as he did her, she confronts him and he admits his infidelity with Serpentum because he was "curious and horny." Eva demands that Adam make a choice: Serpentum or her.
Very emotional, Eva shares with the two she realizes sleeping with Serpentum was wrong, has cleansed herself in the river for forgiveness of her original sin, and wants Adam to forgive her, to which Serpentum asks her in side-splitting, deadpan fashion "you got all that by doing laundry?!?"
Eva continues on her rant, informing the two about the existence of God and how everything went wrong when Serpentum entered the picture. As Serpentum mocks her with statements like "I thought you had clarity," Adam discovers there is no fruit in the bowl that always seemed to fill itself and becomes frantic, feeling as though "It" had abandoned them.
Clearly hormonal, Eva screams at Adam to go and pick some more and then lets the cat out of the bag: she is pregnant and doesn't know who the father is. She leaves momentarily and Serpentum tries one final time to win Adam over, asking him condescending why he hasn't made Eva subservient to him. In a remarkable moment, one that still has this critic thinking, Adam professes his love for Eva, telling Serpentum "she doesn't make me feel empty; she makes me feel whole."
In a final attempt at reaching them both through an unforgettable departure, Serpentum bares himself completely: full frontal nudity. The woman and the man don't seem to notice, with Adam then declaring to both he has free will and can live as he chooses.
In the face of religious intolerance we struggle with in this country as well as abroad, if only we could understand this truth as did the first man.
For more info and to purchase tickets: Call MBS Productions at 214-477-4942. Tickets are $18-$21 and can be purchased by clicking on this link. Seating and ticket specs can be found online at www.mbsproductions.net. The Stone Cottage Theater is located at 15650 Addison Road, Addison, Texas. The theater sits directly in front of the Addison Water Tower.