BWW Reviews: The Edge Theater's IT'S JUST SEX - An Enticing Ensemble
The Edge Theater Company presents the regional premiere of L.A.'s longest running comedy IT'S JUST SEX by Jeff Gould currently running through July 22.
With the kids away, three married couples get together for an evening of relaxation and laughs. But as the liquor flows and secrets are revealed, trust is tested and boundaries are broken. IT'S JUST SEX is a comedic and thought-provoking look at fidelity, lust, communication, and what it really takes for a marriage to survive and thrive. By the end of the evening, what should have been just an innocent party turns into an event that changes all three relationships forever.
Now I have to say this first - this show may make you blush and even turn you on (which doesn't help when it is 90 plus degrees in Denver!). Honestly this show should have been titled "It's All Sex", cause that was exactly what is was from the first scene to the very end and the audience couldn't get enough! Be it good (Phil and Joan), bad (Greg and Lisa) or indifferent (Carl and Kelly), sex always has truth and consequences and this story is a refreshing "no-holes barred" exploration into those scenarios.
First I have the say that I truly appreciated that these diverse characters could have been very stereotypical and overacted, but this talented ensemble kept it real. Let's look at each of the couples and the talented cast that played theM. Scott Bellot was just great as the "in the doghouse" Phil and had great reactions. His first scene with the hooker was well-staged and hysterical. Patty Ionoff as his wife Joan was solid in her passive aggressive performance. I only wish that she blew up and really let herself go during the climax of her argument with Phil, thus breaking her ice-queen mold and leading to a cathartic and heartfelt reconciliation. James O'Hagan-Murphy knows how to play neurotic so well and he definitely shone in this role. Now he was stellar and this is just me being picky, but I would have liked to see a distinctive transformation from the timid and neurotic husband into the "I got laid and am in charge now" asshole that he becomes. His wife Lisa, played by Kirsten Deane was wonderful and played her confident and commandeering role well. I loved her breakdown at the realization that although she controlled everything in her life, she never realized that her marriage was crumbling around her. I must say that horny Carl was one of Brock Benson's best roles to date. From fun and flirty, to absolute horndog, to the ultimate transformation into a tender husband, Brock showed diverse range and versatility. Job well done! With that said, I have to say that the choice to have him not wear a wedding ring was noticeable and seemed a bit odd. His wife, played by Samara Bridwell was so adorable as the bubbly Kelly. Her breakdown at the confession of her affair drew the audience in and made us love her more. Rebekah Shibao really played up her hooker persona and you could tell she had fun with her seductive role. I would have actually had her do more of a strip tease as she was changing each set. I would take it one step further and get some tacky burlesque music to inspire her (go big or go home). Now I have to commend the entire ensemble on their use of non-verbal cues and reactions with each other which ultimately brought out the funny in every awkward moment and mounting tension.
The set by designer Kelly Westback Hasbrouck was simple and gifted in its design and construction. The stationary living room used small, distinct changes and unique lighting to transport the audience into the three homes. And the thoughtfully executed sex scenes were absolutely genius, effective, and hilarious. Director Bill Smith kept things real in this show and with so many plots intermingling, the show flowed perfectly. He was effective in drawing out those non-verbal cues from every interaction that only enhanced this fabulous show.
So grab your loved one and come be enticed and entertained by this hilarious show. IT'S JUST SEX is turning up the heat at The Edge Theater now through July 22nd. For tickets or more information, contact the box office at 303-232-0363 or online at www.theedgetheater.com. The Edge Theater is located at 9797 W. Colfax Avenue in Lakewood, Colorado.