A 'not so secret' recent guilty pleasure of mine is indulgently drinking a mango margarita while watching the new series, "Mixology," a modern day "Swingers." Our society is unfortunately filled with so many people unfulfilled and unhappy with their current marriages, always seeking to find if the 'grass is greener on the other side.' Such is the equivalent, in "Is There Sex After Marriage?" written and directed by Jeff Gould, now onstage at Two Roads Theatre in Studio City. At show's start, we find long time friends, Roger and Sherry (Jaret Sacrey and Rene Ashton); Joe and Mindy (Brad Lee Wind and Natalie Salins); and Zack and Beth (Joel Berti and Ann Leighton). Each of these couples have been married for years, and in their zeal to find inner happiness, they find a need to swing and experiment outside the box/comfort zone of their own marriage. The show is a 'dramedy,' with a meaningful message on the importance of human connection, and how timing plays such a huge role in objects of the heart, both love and lust, with many twists and bumps along the way.
This play is the third in a series of comedies about the dynamics of relationships between men and women, the first two being "Troubled Waters," and "It's Just Sex." Set entirely in the living room of Roger and Sherry, (a most aesthetically pleasing yet simple set), the show centers on the fact that no man/woman is truly an island unto oneself, but rather in desperate search of a soulmate. The show revolves around this group of friends,entrenched and intertwined in each others' lives. When Roger and Sherry seemingly accidentally find themselves at a swingers' party one evening, their characters' feelings come to the surface, as the audience is thrown into what seems like an engaging episode of the Playboy channel, and 'sex excess' personified.
The refreshing, talented (not to mention beautiful to look at) ensemble are dynamic and entertaining, as each and every one tries to find not only their sense of self, but that special certain 'one.' They try to go with the flow, even it's not what they're used to...but then decide not to indulge but rather stick with the common denominator of traditional marriage. To find one's soulmate and to take chances in life and love, to "jump into the ocean without a life vest," as it were, can be either fulfilling or distilling, and in more cases than not, dysfunction and conflict pervades, the source of great dramatic material. With the huge box office success of "Swingers," and now TV shows like Mixology and Girls, this play has mass appeal, pushing the envelope. It's a brave, bold look at modern marriage and friendships. The dialogue, acting, and writing are all first rate, as one would expect from productions at Two Roads Theatre. The juxtaposition of romantic, relevant love songs, set each scene, exploring the intrigues of love, married life, and sexuality.
Through May 4th
Two Roads Theatre 4348 Tujunga Ave. Studio City, CA
Fridays and Saturdays 8PM; Sundays 7PM
(323) 960-5770 www.plays411.com/sexaftermarriage