Monday, November 2, 2015

Sexy, Very Funny "Sex With Strangers"

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There is More to “Sex With Strangers” Than Just Sex

By Skip Sheffield

The title “Sex With Strangers” certainly grabs your attention. Laura Eason’s smart, ironic and very funny R-rated romantic comedy runs through Nov. 15 at Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach.
If you are familiar with Arts Garage you will notice the address is different. The entrance on N.E. First Street is now blocked off. You have to walk around the building to find your way in. There is a new team at Arts Garage. Genie Croft, director of this show, is Resident Director. Keith Garsson, formerly of Boca Raton Theatre Guild, is producing director.
There are just two characters in “Sex With Strangers.” Jacqueline Laggy is Olivia Lago, a once-promising novelist who has lost her confidence and retreated into teaching.
Michael Uribe is a 28-year-old blogger who calls himself Ethan Strange. Ethan is totally plugged in to the digital age. His blog, which has the same name as the play’s title, has as many as 1 million hits a month. He books a room at the same writer’s retreat as Olivia, because he admires her first novel and he envies the fact she is legitimately in print.
Ethan is a good-looking charmer, and Olivia soon succumbs to those charms. Ethan has ulterior motives, as we learn in the course of nine scenes in two acts. “Sex With Strangers” is as much about the art of writing and the protection of intellectual property as it is about sex or love. Love is a complicated tango, and Jacqueline Laggy and Michael Uribe are expert dancers. I have seen Laggy in a number of shows; most memorably when she got down on all fours to play a dog in “Sylvia.” This is her time to shine as a smart, sexy yet vulnerable woman. Olivia is supposed to be “older;” turning 40, but if anything that makes her even more alluring.
Ethan is a cad, pure and simple, but newcomer Michael Uribe humanizes him. I think we will be seeing more of this actor on South Florida stages. See him now pulling out the stops (and pulling off his shirt).
There are three more plays planned for the season at Arts Garage; all of them new and provocative. This production bodes well for the new team.

Tickets are $30 general admission, $40 reserved seat and $45 premium. Call 561-450-6357 or go to www.artsgarage.org.

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