Five Times in One Night

 

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Review by Sonia Roberts

 

 

 

Chiara Atik’s new play about everyone’s favorite subject takes us into five scenarios that take place before, after, or during sex – from many centuries ago to the apocalypse, and everywhere in between.

The audience enters through a groovy elevator-bar, outfitted, well, sexily. Dim lighting, booze, and the mystery of where we’ll end up instantly gets us in the mood. Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” starts playing and two actors – the earnest and playful Dylan Dawson and Darcy Fowler – take us through five very different worlds where the “rules” of sex are created, challenged, broken, and reinvented before our eyes.

Atik doesn’t shy away from the awkward and uncomfortable – a woman showing up at an ex’s apartment the night before her abortion, a man being accused of porn addiction, two people deciding to have sex even though one is openly repulsed by the other, a woman’s feminism challenged because she wants her boyfriend to be rougher with her. She also confidently dives into the delight of new discoveries – Adam and Eve figuring out what sex is in the most simple, primal way, an intense attraction building through letters between a young woman and her tutor in medieval France, a man pleasantly surprised by his girlfriend’s equal enthusiasm for threesomes.

Director R.J. Tolan works wonderfully with set designer Jason Simms to define each world, and cleverly allows for the costume changes to be part of the action, though the long transitions do somewhat slow the pace of the evening down. Despite this, Tolan’s staging thoughtfully allows Atik’s stories to shine through honest, energetic, and deliciously funny performances.

 

Five Times in One Night at Ensemble Studio Theatre

Running through Sunday, April 19th Tickets at http://ensemblestudiotheatre.org/

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