Wednesday, May 6, 2015

On The Arts Fuse: “Scenes From An Adultery” — Where’s the Sex?

On The Arts Fuse I review Ronan Noone's sex-farce, Scenes From An Adultery currently playing at New Repertory Theatre in Watertown and directed by Bridget Kathleen O'Leary. Unfortunately the script is both sexless and feckless.

Many a fine comedy has been built around gossip, secrets, and people’s askew perceptions of the sex lives of others. The problem for Noone’s Scenes From An Adultery is that these aspects of farce contrivance are not what generate the comedy. They are merely the theatrical scaffolding upon which the humor — rooted in detailed characterization, clever word play, and a mania for bourgeois respectability — is often built. His figures lack quirky, strange obsessions or exaggerated vices.

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The dialogue is lacking in wit, to say the least. This is what, once upon a time, maybe back in the 1970s, passed for ‘sophisticated,’ risqué adult comedy — using words like “penis,” “tits,” and “cunnilingus” on stage.

Particularly worrisome to me is that the script wasn't merely developed in-house as part of New Rep's Next Voices Fellowship Program, but that Noone teaches playwriting at Boston University and is therefore presumingly training the next generation of dramatists. Neither fact bodes well for new play development in the Boston metropolitan area.

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