BWW Reviews: WOMEN ARE CRAZY BECAUSE MEN ARE A**HOLES Addresses the He Said/She Said of Modern Relationships

It's a wonder that any modern relationships can survive the two-dimensional world of online dating. We have all known people who declared in all seriousness that they were in love with someone they met online but never in person. Such is the initial premise of WOMEN ARE CRAZY BECAUSE MEN ARE A**HOLES enjoying its successful West Coast premiere at West Hollywood's Macha Theatre through September 29 on Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 5:00 and 8:30pm, and Sundays at 6:00pm.

Described as a romantic comedy which gleefully examines the ways in which men and women make each other miserable, WOMEN ARE CRAZY BECAUSE MEN ARE A**HOLES brings to life five couples who come together for brunch to celebrate "Nicole" and "Dylan" who, after a two month internet courtship, meet for the first time. The event proves to be the last reasonable thing any of them will do that day, for as the day wears on, secrets will be screamed, sex will be weaponized, and sanity will have its throat sliced. And if you are anything like me, you will see a bit of all your failed relationships represented in the relationship of one of these five couples. It makes you wonder why we even bother to try when nothing ever seems to work out between men and women since everyone cheats and covets what it not theirs. But trust me, you will laugh your way through this entire production.

Featured in the cast the night I attended were the following couples: Mandy Henderson (Nicole) and Christian Monson (Dylan); Blake Boyd (Reynold) and DeAnna Smith (Bella); JJ Nolan (Mandy) and John Weselcouch (Benny); Tunisia Hardison (Hillary) and Baxter Defy (George); Nikki McKenzie (Phoenix) and Justin Sintic (Tim). But by the time the play is over, the game of musical beds will turn their relationships inside out and upside down.

Walking into the theater, the stage is awash with shades of red and orange, as are the actors' costumes, reminding us that Apples and Oranges, as they say, can never mix. Before the show began, the audience was asked to please not talk back to the actors. It seemed a funny thing to request, until the play began and I found myself wanting to shout out at them in response to the outrageous human behavior on display. Mandy degenerates into screaming fits when she believes Benny has been with another woman. JJ Nolan loses herself in the heat of the moment, whipping Mandy into a frenzy with ear-shattering screams of "LIAR" directed at poor Benny. Seems the green-eyed monster is never far away! But their perfect "parts" keep them together like so many couples who feel if the sex is great, so is the relationship.

All the characters step out of their scenes leaving other actors static while they speak to the audience about their feelings in the moment. This works especially well with Nicole and Dylan before and after they meet for the first time face-to-face. She is convinced he is "the one" and he feels the same, flying 2,000 miles to meet her in person after they have enjoyed great Skype sex. But things change the moment they meet and Dylan wants out even though Nicole is ready to say "I do" if he asks her. So what's a guy to do? Fall for her sister of course. Oh what webs of deceit we weave.

Nicole's sister Bella and boyfriend Reynold have been together the longest and he is ready to propose although he admits he sleeps with everyone. But the magic Bella feels for Dylan pulls her in a different direction. As bad a boy as Reynold is, his breakdown into heartfelt tears when Bella leaves him allowed his softer side to be seen, letting us see how much he needs a woman to take care of him. And poor Nicole runs to hide in her bedroom, only to be seduced by Mandy who is then chastised by Benny for not including him. I am convinced they are all just incredibly insecure people - and all equally crazy.

Hillary and George never get out of their car, arguing and finally making up on their way to the brunch. Hardison and Defy are both incredibly rubber-faced, letting each emotion change their faces in such comical ways they had the audience in tears of laughter. Their relationship is what co-dependency is all about.

Phoenix (Nikki McKenzie) and Tim (Justin Sintic) are on the verge of splitting up as she is taking off to San Francisco to sell her first book rather than finish law school to appease Tim. Wanting her independence, Phoenix is ready to walk away from his controlling nature so she can be her own person.

There are so many funny lines and excuses that will strike home such as "I was drunk and thought of you the whole time" to explain an indiscretion or "She's like cocaine - without her I start to shake." But then how often have you noticed everyone around you is so involved on their cell phone that no one speaks to one another? People fill a room and all you hear is the tapping of phone texting. How can reality compare to the addiction the internet has become today? How can men and women still relate to each other in person in a three-dimensional world? Perhaps the only way is to drive each other crazy and then use sex to make up. Sounds right, doesn't it?

Kudos to writer/director Brad T. Gottfred for keeping the action moving at such a brisk pace that time seems to fly by, and for creating characters that will reach out and touch your soul, making if you want to raise your voice and scream at them now and then. Just try to control yourself between all the laughter! Then take Nicole's advice and just go be happy and stop making everyone else miserable.

WOMEN ARE CRAZY BECAUSE MEN ARE A**HOLES

Macha Theatre is located at 1107 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Performances on Fridays at 8:00 pm; and Saturdays at 5:00 pm and 8:30 pm through Saturday, August 24; with Sunday performances at 6:00 pm through September 29. Tickets are $25.69, $29.69, and $39.69 may be purchased by visiting Brown Paper Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/392168; or by visiting the production's web site at www.bleepingcrazy.com.

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From This Author Shari Barrett

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