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Sex, Lies, and Social Media

ensemble theatre · the alliance of los angeles playwrights (alap) · Ages 15+ · United States

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Review by SHARI BARRETT

June 10, 2014 · original article

My overall impression

Mariah Bonner strikes quite a figure as the narrator of these 5 short plays by The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP). Encouraging the audience to post on social media about the show, many in the audience were more than happy to oblige! Each of the 5 plays poses questions about sexual orientation, attraction, and how social media has affected our relationships. Each story is simple in the telling, but deep in human interaction.

HAPPY AND GAY by Mary Steelsmith centers on two women decorating a church hall for a gay wedding reception. Veronica (Mary Steelsmith) is the more conservative of the two, confused and disappointed that her church and Reverend is allowing such an event to take place within the walls. Betty (AnnaLisa Errickson) is more modern in her thinking but laughable in her terminology. The women banter back and forth about Pat and Chris getting married, but we never know if the couple is male or female. Perhaps their constant references to “bitch-slapping” is a hint? No doubt Archie fans will think of Veronica and Betty as the best of friends, but the play leaves it up in the air if they are really more than that but not able to acknowledge it for fear of bring “Lesbanese.”

CASEY 229 by Elin Hampton features David Fury and Elin Hampton and Ken and Pam, two people in love with the same man. The big difference is that Pam is married to Frank and Ken is in love with Butch online who he has never met. Of course Frank and Butch are one and the same. Seems the two men convinced themselves that the other was a woman, a real possibility when chatting with strangers online. Social media can have it drawbacks when it comes to falling in love.

The most laughable of all 5 shows was REBECCA’S BROKEN LESS THAN SIGN NUMBER 3 by Ron Burch, featuring Diana Romo, Oriko Ikeda, and Dan Heber.. Those familiar with online emoticons will understand the title, and each of the three characters spout online terminology describing their Facebook chats. Funny thing is in today’s social media world, their conversation can be totally understood!

UNCOMFORTABLE SEX by Lorin Howard focuses on an older woman (Joanna Miles) attempting to get into the online dating world via the help of her granddaughter (Kristen Gull) who arranges a date for her with Marty (TJ Castronovo). Their first meeting conversation will ring true for anyone who has met someone in person for the first time, and the twist at the end will make you thankful that age is no barrier to sexual imagination.

THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT by Dan Berkowtiz features a middle of the night encounter between a succubus (Mariah Bonner) and the man she wants to seduce as he sleeps. But unfortunately for her, all is not as it seems! Another great twist at the end of this one!

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