Thursday, October 22, 2015
Mom. Dad. Please stop reading, now. Yes, now! DAD! Now!!
Okay, now I can tell you all about Sex with Strangers! The first production of the 2015-2016 season in the intimate Ellen Bye Studio is absolutely amazing. As the name indicates, this two-person production is about sex. Hot, hot, blush-worthy sex. And technology, social media, careers, ambition, history and rumors. You know, basic relationship stuff. Especially the hot, hot sex. And one of the characters is a bloggers, so I know you will be interested!!
Written by House of Card's Laura Eason, the screenplay is sharp, funny, fast and insightful. I have a sneaking suspicion Eason has googled several boyfriends in the past, and not liked what she discovered. But it is the actors that really bring her words to life.
Danielle Slavick plays Olivia, the somewhat uptight, insecure and brilliant writer and college professor. She clearly has traditional training when it comes to acting and theater. Her posture and projection makes that quite clear. That could be a very annoying approach when playing such a disciplined and responsible character. You know the friend runs 5-miles every day, goes to bed at 9:30pm sharp, folds her panties, and always turns down tequila shots?! That is Olivia. The character plays it safe, but Slavick brings a lovable, curious spirit to the stage.
Now for Ethan. The sexy, rich Tucker Max-type. A real bro in plaid and fancy shoes - similar to the guys you will meet in the Pearl or at Dig-a-Pony! The King of Tinder, who collects conquests with a right swipe and a few sazeracs. Artisan cocktails or Milwaukie's Best, braaaaa! Well Christopher M. Smith delivers a blush-worthy and commanding performance. Generous, yet selfish. Amazing abs, yet nervousness around an accomplished woman. Encouraging, but self-serving. Smith brings the frat-boy confidence and magna cum laude intelligence necessary to deliver such a human and real character.
Sex with Strangers runs Tuesday-Sunday through November 22nd 2015. While my tickets were provided all opinions are my own.
All images were provided by Portland Center Stage