By Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Directed by David Menses
Howler’s Theatre at Art’s Sake Film Acting Studio
Winter Park, FL
It may be against the rules to butcher a lamb in your mission district loft, but how else will you have that fresh killed flavor? Richard (Jeremy Wood) and Pam (Christy Poggi) prepare dinner for their annual anniversary / reunion party with Wendy (Yvonne Suhor) and Tom (Scott Browning). They are still in love with prom and each other, and only an errant bottle spin left them hooked up as they are now. Richard is the artist and cook, while Pam does “something with software.” Wendy practices holistic hand waving while Tom is a successful if impotent doctor. More interestingly, Richard is boffing Wendy and insists on wrestling with Tom every time they meet. It’s much more sexual for each of them than normal, but only Tom seems uptight about it. Wendy wants a kid, and is willing to eat her own panties to that end while Tom discovers he needs some domination to succeed. All of this feels a bit hyper real but they keep pointing out this IS San Francisco.
There’s an ending of course, well crafted, brilliantly written and acted and no fun if I mention it. The show is faced paced and careens between uncomfortable and hysterical. Richard gets the most action; the only thing he doesn’t have sex with is the dinner table. Uptight and tortured Tom burns slowly and turns beet red in his big scene, and I feared he might actually suffer an embolism or some other fatal stage death. While Wendy wear the most provocative outfit and makes sex seem like a large craft project, Pam find her way through the pitfalls of a relation and might have a hope when her life changing experience leads her out to the wilds. I see a commune in her future. Witty and brutal, this comedy is a tonic to all the weighty geopolitics that covers the local stage scene this month. I much prefer a comedy about sex to a lecture on war, there’s always a chance someone will get naked.
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