Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sleeping Around (review)

Spoilers Ahoy!

The idea of Sleeping Around is pretty simple. It is an offering by Theatre Unleashed to this year's Hollywood Fringe Festival. In essence we start with a couple Donnie and Angela (Jim Martyka and Sammi Lappin) who are using each other for a sexual fantasy. What gives a hint something special awaits is what their fantasies turn out to be. Nun and choirboy? Hooker and john? Father and daughter? No--a happy marriage, with two people glad to see each other at the end of the day's work. Happy to see one another. Eager to find comfort and company by giving and receiving joy.

Okay wow. A scenario I expected to be gloriously tacky proved moving, and I instantly liked these people.

Then in scene two, we see Donnie again--this time with his wife Elizabeth (Courtney Bell), who adores him. And whom he adores. So why was he cheating on her? And why is she urging him to do it? These two very nearly broke my heart as the answers emerged.

Elizabeth then meets and sleeps with Ryan (Lee Pollero), who then sleeps with Sophie (Brandy June), who goes to "confess" her infidelity to an uncaring Elliott (Eric Cire) and so on. La Ronde for the 21st century in effect. We get to meet more characters--Sam (Gregory Crafts), Colleen (Jenn Scuderi Crafts), Chris (Jase  Lindgren). A tapestry of humanity, all of them realized with with and humor and most of all with honesty. I'm very pleased with everyone, although I do believe Martyka and Lappin and Bell gave the best performances--a remark meant to convey very high praise indeed.

For the Fringe, Sleeping Around has two more performances at  Theatre Asylum - 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. LA. CA. 90038, Sunday June 21 at 5:30pm and Thursday June 25 at 8:30pm.

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