Monday, July 2, 2012

Theatre Review: It's Just Sex

By Philip Doyle

I am in a constant state of gratitude to the community of producers, directors, actors, and crews, who work tirelessly to provide live theatre.  The good people of the Denver metro area should thank their lucky stars for companies like The Edge Theatre

What happens when three domesticated married couples surrender to their wild sexual desires?  It’s Just Sex is a fun and thought provoking exploration of trust, lust, and fidelity. 

Some friends gather for an evening of drinks and social small talk.  What begins as a party game of “tell the truth” becomes a swinging husband and wife swap.  The ensuing uninhibited sexual romp is cleverly staged and extremely funny to witness. 

The post coitus action grapples with some pretty deep questions.  What constitutes cheating?  What is trust?  But not to worry, It’s Just Sex doesn’t get too bogged down with the issues that pop up when the sex stops.  This play is more fun than serious.  The sex is more playful than raw and raunchy.  And what could be an evening of couple therapy is an enjoyable, seductive game of wit and reckoning.  Seeing these characters bargain to discover their goal is a good time.  

The three couples come to the party harboring personal resentments and neuroses that can challenge their marriage.  Phil (Scott Bellot) has taken drastic measures to rekindle the sexual spark with his wife Joan (Patty Ionoff).

Lisa (Kirsten Deane) is frustrated by her husband’s failure to man-up.  Her husband Greg’s (James O’Hagan Murphy) assertiveness is crumbling under Lisa’s critical nitpicking.  I threw some extra applause to Kirsten Deane for her confident and well articulated performance. 

Kelly (Smara Bridwell) has been keeping a secret from her constantly horny husband Carl (Brock Benson).  Benson has become one of my favorite Denver actors.  He embodies his characters with sincerity and an appreciation that is a joy to watch.

In what could be a thankless albeit brief role, I acknowledge Rebekah Shibao for bringing some class and beauty as a hooker.

It’s Just Sex begins with three short scenes that had me surprised and a bit perplexed.  It was as though the show was rewound ten minutes before the real action started.   Part of me felt grateful to witness what occurs before the party starts.  The other part of me felt a bit robbed, like I had been prematurely clued in.  All is forgiven as the party starts, when the quick episodic pace that started the play, shifts to a more comfortable momentum. 

Almost all of the action takes place with six actors in one room.  Thanks to director Bill Smith, for his ability to keep the staging fresh and focused throughout. 

Playwright Jeff Gould has constructed a play that is much more than its eye-catching title.  It’s Just Sex is a swinging party where the guests share drinks, laughs, and themselves.

The Regional Premiere of It’s Just Sex by Jeff Gould
Presented by The Edge Theatre
9797 W. Colfax Ave, Lakewood, CO 80215
Runs June 29 – July 22
For tickets and more information visit or call 303-232-0363