EDISON, NJ—At the Edison Valley Playhouse, Fearless Productions has mounted a production of “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” one of David Mamet’s earlier shock value works.
The original play concerns itself with four urban 1970’s twenty-somethings, but this version has been re-worked in a more contemporary vein and set in present day.
This version replete with its signature colloquial dialogue and profanity that is far less shocking today than when the play first appeared in the mid-seventies, had a very talented cast.
That cast included Mathew Rae as Dan, Kristina Hernandez as Joan, Brian Remo as Bernie and Morgan Vasquez as Deb. The chemistry between these players was excellent as was their performances, making it a worthwhile night of theater.
This production however had flaws. The lighting at times on the subdued stage didn’t follow the action tightly.
Another issue was the continued blackouts for each scene change and there were many, disrupting the continuity of action and giving the play a fragmented feel. This reviewer wasn’t clear if it originated in the stage directions in the book or was the choice of the director.
Before “Sexual Perversity” began, a short play written by director Mike Burdick, called “Gravediggers” was showcased.
In addition to being both superfluous and distracting to the featured play, it was difficult to discern when Gravediggers ended and “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” started. This made it seem that the two plays were connected, but they weren’t.
It would have been preferable if “Gravediggers” was showcased after the curtain call of the featured play. This reviewer would have certainly stayed around to see a pithy original work.
Flaws aside, if you like solid acting, go see this production. Fearless Productions’ Sexual Perversity in Chicago runs at the Edison Valley Playhouse through July 20.