Playwright Ian MacAllister-McDonald apparently knows a thing or two about turning sexual anecdotes into drama at its finest. This successful and immensely talented writer has penned a tale, that is both honest and gritty, and at times downright hilarious. This play follows a group of young people, impeccably played by a strong, cohesive ensemble, consisting of actors Luke Cook (Hal); Burt Grinstead (Clark); Melanie Lyons (Alice); T. Lynn Mikeska (Naomi); and Melissa Paladino (Jean).
Based on a book written in 1929 (The Sexual Life of Savages); and brilliantly presented by Skylight's Artistic Director/Producer, Gary Grossman, this show delves into the lives and psyches of five young people, in different stages of 'undress,' both figuratively and literally. Clark (Grinstead) and Jean (Paladino) are in an experimental phase of 'swing, fling, and everything, while everyman Hal (Cook) is at the polar opposite of the spectrum, inquisitive, reserved, and quite introspective, considering his partner/lover Naomi (Mikeska) a 'nymphomaniac' of sorts, seeking instant gratification as it were. With sex once considered a subject matter quite taboo, today's hit cable series "Masters of Sex," along with the Sexual Revolution, there has been more awareness, openness and light shed on this matter. Once one gets engrossed with each intimate vignette and warms up to each personal story, sure to resonate, one will totally feel a part of the dynamics onstage. The element of 'savagery' and primordial urges is key to the story, not unlike the classic tale by William Golding, "Lord of the Flies." Each of these young adults is testing his/her sexual knowledge and veracity, challenging themselves to how far they'll go and to what degree. Of particular worthy mention is actress Melanie Lyons as Alice, a strong actress, affecting a British accent, attempting to become worldly, though quite naive. It is a compelling piece about morals, and what evolves, as each character is left to their own wiles in this conservative suburb setting, gone cosmopolitan.
The Sexual Life of Savages is an analytical look at how couples, in different stages of the game of love, are all faced with the same underlying problem of how to satisfy sexual urges and deal with societal mores at one.
Grossman takes the Skylight mission to heart and the role it plays in contributing to society. "The home-run for me is to have audiences walk out of here talking." This play surely reaches that goal.
Throught August 16th
Fridays and Saturdays @ 8PM Sundays @ 7PM
Beverly Hills Playhouse 254 S. Robertson Blvd
Reservations (213) 761-7061