Review: SAUNA BOY at Laurie Beechman Theatre is Fun and Deep

A humorous and revealing dive into London's gay bathhouse culture

By: Apr. 20, 2024
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Review: SAUNA BOY at Laurie Beechman Theatre is Fun and Deep In Sauna Boy, Dan Ireland-Reeves offers audiences a captivating and intimate glimpse into London’s gay bathhouse culture. From the moment the show begins, Dan, a charming and unassuming gent, effortlessly draws laughter from the audience. The play follows his journey from his initial interview at the sauna to its climactic final days, with Dan seamlessly embodying a variety of vivid and fully realized characters.

As a performer, Dan radiates a warm and inviting stage presence, displaying poise, great posture, and an alluring accent. His storytelling is direct and engaging, never keeping the audience waiting long for a laugh.

Early in the play, we learn of Dan’s three goals for his new workplace: securing a liquor license, creating a website, and selling out the venue. As he pursues those goals, we meet a colorful cast of characters, including the salty Marco, the alluring and enigmatic Ash, the unforgettable Fisty Pete, and the mercurial Mother, each adding their own memorable flair to the narrative.

Sauna Boy is filled with uproarious moments, from the visceral experience of cleaning out a trash bin to the enlightening details of Fisty Pete’s lubricant preference. Marco's urgent calls over the walkie-talkie and the Flashdance-inspired scene with Ash are standout comedic highlights.

While the play offers an entertaining and informative look into bathhouse culture, its core is about human connections, desires, and profound life lessons. Beneath its humor lies a story with depth and emotional resonance, much like the multifaceted individuals who populate the bathhouse.

The script is cleverly written, and Ireland-Reeves adeptly utilizes the audience, at times incorporating us into the world of the play without making us feel uncomfortable or singled out. Sauna Boy is loaded with witty dialogue and insightful observations, ensuring an engaging and thought-provoking experience for audiences.

You have one more chance to see Sauna Boy! Click here for tickets to the April 20th show tonight at the always delightful Laurie Beechman Theatre. To discover more about the award-winning Dan Ireland-Reeves and his other projects, click here.


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