BWW Review: "SEX PLEASE, WE'RE SIXTY"
- a Fun-Filled Farce!
By Michael and Susan Parker Directed by Carlyn Postle
March 8th, 2013 at 8P.M.
ATTENTION! - Despite the title, this show is NOT X-Rated! "SEX PLEASE, WE'RE SIXTY", is a fun-filled farce, now playing at the Carrollwood Players in Tampa, through March 30th.
Michael and Susan Parker are Florida playwrights with several "American" farces to their credit. THE SENSUOUS SENATOR, THERE'S A BURGLAR IN MY BED, WHOSE WIVES ARE THEY ANYWAY?, among others. English born and raised, Michael Parker and his wife Susan, write plays that combine familiar British farce situations, into an American setting. Their plays are stereotypical, sex comedies, with over the top, bawdy, nonsensical plots. As with "SEX PLEASE, WE'RE SIXTY", the result is hilariously contagious.
The story takes place at Mrs. Stancliffe's, Rose Cottage Bed and Breakfast, in New England. She has repeat business (mostly women), who return to the cottage each year. Three women arrive on the same day, Victoria Ambrose, Hillary Hudson, and Charmaine Beauregard.
Mrs. Stancliffe's next door neighbor, Bud "the Stud" Davis, awaits the arrival of his "chicks", believing that the main reason these gals return each season, is to "romance" with him. Henry, another neighbor and wannabee suitor to Mrs. Stancliffe, is a retired chemist. He has developed Venusia, a new pill, used to increase the libido of menopausal women, although it has yet to be tested.
When Bud mistakienly takes the Venusia, the bawdy, rollickiing romp begins.
"Sex Please, We're Sixty" is not Ibsen. It is broad comedy, played for laughs. In Act I, we meet and learn about the characters and the improbable situation. In Act II, the story and pacing come alive. As in typical farce style, the cast is going in one door and out and through another. The unexpected turn of events will have you holding your sides with laughter.
The curtain opened to a sweet and charming, unit set of a very believable, Bed & Breakfast lobby. There was a front desk , cozy sofa, and an upper level, leading to a cafe table and chairs and a sideboard of refreshments, The lobby had a front entrance, doors that lead to 3 bedrooms, a hallway, as well as french doors that lead to the garden. It was precisely New England.
The lovely and talented Ginger King, is the modest, pefectly, proper, proprietress, Mrs. Stancliffe. Other actors could have easily given a one dimensional interpretaion of this role, but not Miss King. Her many years as a stage veteran, allowed for multiple layers in her character development (as revealed in Act II). In this production, Miss. King has proven her skilled acting talents once again.
Ernie Rowland as Bud "the Stud" Davis, gave a strong, deadpan, comedic performance. He took command of the stage with every line and move, as the faux charming, weak back, senior, sex machine. Mr. Rowland's physical comedy was hilarious.
As Henry Mitchell, a true gentlman caller, who is in love with Mrs. Stancliffe, Henry Bardi is outstanding. He is a lovable teddy bear. Mr. Bardi is so natural and honest in his portaryal, that it doesn't appear that he is acting at all. He lives the role and delivers a shining performace.
Mr. Bardi and Mr. Rowland had excellent stage chemstry; especially in the "male menopause" scene. Their hormonally challenged conversation, crying, and hot flashes stopped the show.
Denise Deneen gave a vibrant performance, as romance novelist, Victoria Ambrose. Miss. Deneen brought the house down, during a
"crying jag" in her Menopausal breakdown, a highlight of the show.
Jan Brown as Hillary Hudson, did an admirable job, in a challenging "straight" role. She added just the right touch of spice, adding humor to her portrayal as Henry's ex- partner and friend.
Sexy, curvacious, C.J. Hartland as "the southern belle, gone wrong", Charmaine Beauregard, ignited a firey heat to each scene. Miss, Hartland oozed sex appeal and provided lots of laughter with her provocative, southern charm.
Director Carlyn Postle assembled a fine cast for this production. She used the levels of the set wisely, allowing the audience to focus on each scene without distraction. Miss. Postle's apparent knowledge of physical comedy and comedic timing, brought this farce to true fruition.
The set, lighting, and sound was most effective. The costumes worked well, for the most part, although some color could have been added to Miss. Hartland's palate in Act II. Stage Manager Keith Postle kept the show running smoothly.
So if you like farce and you want to laugh, "SEX PLEASE, WE'RE SIXTY" will fill your desires!