BWW Review: SEX, FAITH AND JASON WEXLER - An Uniquely Effective Take on Religious Differences
SEX, FAITH AND JASON WEXLER/written & directed by Dan Frischman/Two Roads Theatre/thru April 3, 2016
Dan Frischman quite ably directs his witty script of SEX, FAITH AND JASON WEXLER keeping his likeable cast and plot moving at a snappy pace. (Doubled cast - the "Angels" cast performed the night reviewed)
Jason Wexler, who just passed "quarter-of-a-century" in age and wallows in a stockbroking job he's not loving, sees Faith in an art gallery window ("oogled you from my uber") and stops to talk to her. Breaking the fourth wall, Jason tells the audience of his upcoming 'smooth' moves as he then proceeds to awkwardly attempt to pick up Faith. Luckily, Faith feels the same budding attraction and gives him her business card for Jason to call for a date. Busy schedules prevent actually getting together for a date until weeks later for a Pavarotti concert. So they spend many long hours late into the night talking on the phone. When they finally meet for their first physical date, Faith's deep Catholic beliefs reveal themselves to the not always practicing Jewish Jason.
Robert Werner and Lira Kellerman have cute, flirty, credible chemistry as Jason and Faith. Werner's Jason's a wonderful mass of insecurities, bravado and charm. Kellerman's Faith's complex combo of prude and seductress. After months of friendly dating, Faith brings Jason home to meet her father Deacon Bob. Bill Bingham conveys a fatherly strength to his portrayal of Deacon Bob, as he ever so diplomatically tries to figure out the importance of Jason's Judaism to Jason and, in turn, its significance to Jason and Faith's potential marital relationship.
The entrance of Jason's BFF Randy (played with much exuberance by Case Williams) amps up the energy levels on stage. Although, as depicted by Williams and Werner, hard to believe Randy and Jason could be buds, let alone BFFs.
Kathleen Hayes' solid as Jason's spiritual confidante Rabbi Meyers, giving Jason passionate advise (PRO-Judaism while invoking the name of Hitler). In a clever juxtaposition of scenes, Jason receives simultaneous, overlapping religious lessons from both Rabbi Meyers and Deacon Bob via an almost-rap sermon. Nicely done!
Director/playwright Dan Frischman effortlessly crafts a vital cameo as "Golf Guy," a Jewish man who married a Catholic girl and is raising their two kids as Catholics.
A round of hearty applause to actor/set designer Williams for his no-frills set design using only a chair and a barbeque as fast movable set pieces to denote location changes.
You'll love the real meaning to Jason's "Euro Christ" mispronunciation.