Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sex Lives of Our Parents **

Michael Mitnick's new play at Second Stage Uptown gets off to a good start with a mimed montage showing how Virginia and Jeff (Viginia Kull and Ben Rappaport) met cute and became engaged, all to the strains of Frank Sinatra. Unfortunately that is the play's highlight. What follows is a mishmash about Virginia having visions of her mother Charlotte's life from the age of four when she witnessed her parents having sex, through adolescent sexual adventures, to young adulthood when she married out of spite rather than love. Since Charlotte is played by the always-interesting Lisa Emery, all is not lost. Daniel Jenkins is fine as her clueless husband whose love for her is unquestioning. Mark Zeisler is good as Lucas, the Juilliard professor with whom Charlotte has an affair, as well as the offstage voice of Virginia's grandfather vociferously enjoying an orgasm. Rappaport is especially good in his secondary role as Rodney, a lubricious teenage seducer. Teddy Bergman is droll as Elliot, Jeff's nerdy roommate and Virginia's coworker, who is saddled with a lisp for no apparent reason. The action, such as it is, involves Virginia's loss of certainty that she loves Jeff and her effort to reunite Charlotte and Lucas. Andromache Chalfant's set features a Wedgwood blue cameo wallpaper that overpowers everything else. David McCallum directs. Running time: 90 minutes

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