Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sex with S&M in "Smoke"

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Take a Walk on the Wild Side With “Smoke”

By Skip Sheffield

Love hurts. “Smoke” is a play that takes that sentiment literally.
Kim Davies has written a two-character play that centers on the danger and thrill of mutual attraction. “Smoke” runs through April 17 at Arts Garage, 94 N.E. Second Ave., Delray Beach.
It’s a good thing Kim Davies is female. If a guy wrote “Smoke” he would be called kinky at best; misogynist at worst. Julie (Connie Fernandez) and John (Clay Cartland) are two New York hipsters who are attending a “sex party” in Harlem. What? You’ve never been to a sex party? Me neither, but the sex that occurs between these two consenting adults is mostly implied; not carried out.
Director Keith Garsson has a real find in Connie Fernandez, making her Arts Garage debut. To put it bluntly, this girl, who won her BFA from New World School of the Arts in 2014, is smoking hot. That befits her character, who flits about in a micro mini-skirt showing off beautiful gams.
Clay Cartland, who so memorably portrayed a slug in “The Trouble with Doug” at Art Garage, brings equal part of sex and menace to his character of John. Let’s just say conventional sex does not interest John. He likes danger, and inflicting pain.
If you are not into S&M, you won’t get what brings these two characters together. I read “The Story of O” as a teenager, and I get it. That story too was written by a woman.
What does it all mean? Search me. Forewarned is forearmed. This show is not for everyone. With two actors as attractive as Fernandez and Cartland acting out these improbable fantasies, it is at the very least diverting, and director Garsson has the good sense to stage it quickly in 80 minutes, without intermission. “Chacon a son gout,” as they say in France.
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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