Sunday, March 2, 2014

Intimacy @ The Acorn Theatre @ Theatre Row


Thomas Bradshaw's new play, Intimacy, directed by Scott Elliott, is a rocket ship of emotion. Both titillating, shocking, and thought provoking, Intimacy explores the hypocrisy concealed within a wealthy suburb and consequently the American middle class. 

Three families, inter-connected, are forced into absurd clashes as each family becomes aware of the other's sexual perversions, so to speak. The absurdly wealthy, albeit stingy, James (Daniel Gerroll) has found God after his wife's death. Despite his constant chastisement and prayer, he still struggls with an addiction to masturbation - an addiction that leads him to find his neighbor's daughter, Janet (Ella Dershowitz) in a porn magazine. Meanwhile, his son, Matthew (Austin Cauldwell) sees no problem with gratuitous masturbation and even spies on Janet while also fooling around with Sarah (Dea Julien), their contractor's daughter. Sarah's father, Fred (David Anzuelo) will preach hard work and support his wife's decision to work at Wal-Mart on 16 hour shifts and then turn around and masturbate to gay porn. Ever supportive and sexually liberated Pat (Laura Esterman), finds her daughter's career choice admirable, while Jerry (Keith Randolph Smith), struggles with the growing fact that his daughter is working in an industry he previously supported, but now can't imagine his little girl participating in. 

   While the script certainly sets up for a thought provoking piece of theatre, the grotesque theatrics, including needless nudity, bodily fluids flying across stage, and graphic sex, make the show less than what it could be. Kudos to Bradshaw and Elliott who sought to expand the minds of their audience with blatant disregard of social norms, but it lacks credibility and takes away from the truth in the script. 

  Special mention to Gerroll, Smith, and Esterman. Their performances make the show. Gerroll completely sells the over-wrought, crazy, middle aged, Christian finatic obsessed with finding inner peace while destroying everyone else's. Smith's drunken monologue is brilliant. And Esterman's dead pan humor, compassion, and bubbliness make her the most interesting person onstage.

  Intimacy includes set design by Derek McLane, costume design by Scott Elliott, lighting design by Russell H. Champa, sound design by Shane Rettig and video design by Olivia Sebesky. The associate costume designer is Kristine Koury.

  Intimacy will be at the Acorn Theatre through March 8th.  

Review By Aziza Seven
Photos provided by
Photo by Monique Carboni

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