Friday, June 02, 2006

No Sex Please, We're British

I've seen both of the shows at Hanover Tavern since the theater space there reopened, and it's great to see how they've renovated the place. But "No Sex" was a disappointment for me after the delightful "Barefoot in the Park." This production has a knock-out cast with great vets like David Bridgewater, Larry Cook, and Cathy Shafner and impressive newcomers, too, like Christopher Stewart. But as you might be able to tell from my review in Style, I spent more time shaking my head during this show than I did chuckling. The scene that had me laughing the most involved Mr. Stewart stuck in the kitchen, pretending to be a parrot, and firing off random expletives.

I absolutely love Erin Thomas (having first become enamored with her as Nina in a production of "The Seagull" many moons ago) and could have watched her walk about the stage in her bra and a robe for the whole show. But in the early scenes when she does so, it actually made me embarrassed. I think only a joke or two is made about her being half-dressed so it seems a little prurient (if that's the word) to have her outfitted that way. Man, I must be turning into an old fuddy-duddy.

Just as an aside, during the performance I attended there was a woman sitting center stage who I swear did not laugh once and maybe cracked a smile twice. I don't know what exactly was her problem because there was plenty to smile about, but this farce could have been performed in farsi for all of the effect it had on this particular lady.

In general, I thought the show strained credibility so far that it was more ridiculous than funny. I might not be as stodgy as that center stage woman, but I left the theater feeling a little stuffy just the same.

Of course, my opinion apparently hasn't caused any adverse impact on the box office. I got an email today saying the run is extended to July 9th. That's great news and bodes well for the continued success for the Barksdale at Hanover Tavern.

Did "No Sex" leave you feeling frigid? Let me know!

1 comment:

Bruce Miller said...

Well, I guess enough time has passed that I can actually comment now. Yes, No Sex Please left me feeling frigid too, and I directed the damn thing. Oh well.

The initial thought seemed like a good one ... to spend the first year of Barksdale's new Pops Season (we call it our Country Playhouse Season) re-examining some entertainment icons from days gone by.

We started with the quintessential Neil Simon--or at least the first of the two quintessential Neil Simons, and then moved on to the quintessential British bedroom farce and the quintessential Agatha Christie.

Plans initially were to end the season with the quintessential example of a comic stage character evolving into a franchise: Everybody Loves Opal (1961) gave birth to Opal is a Diamond (71), Opal's Baby (73), Opal's Husband (75), and Opal's Million Dollar Duck (79).

We knew that No Sex and Everybody Loves were not great literature, but we thought it would be interesting to check them out to see how they stood up in 2006. Interesting idea, but it obviously needed someone much more attuned to directing No Sex than I was.

I had a great cast and an interesting idea, but I wasn't up to the task.

Live and learn.