THEATRE LOVER MOM: Sex with Strangers: Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman

sexwithstrangersSecond Stage Theatre’s production of  Lauran Eason’s Play, SEX WITH STRANGERS, has been extended one week and will now play through Sunday, August 31st.  The production stars Emmy Award Winner Anna Gunn and Tony Award Nominee Billy Magnussen and is directed by David Schwimmer (Ross of Friends fame).

This is a writer’s play.  Well-written and engaging subject matter offering an insider look at the world of conventional publishing, ebooks, making the bestseller list and the power of social media. Throw in well-developed characters, steamy sex scenes, and enough intrigue, and the audience is in for a wicked ride.

Novelist Olivia knows she has talent, but fears promoting any new literary work due to criticism she has received in the past.  She’s now playing it safe and solitary, both personally and professionally, until buff sex blogger and popular memorist Ethan bursts in one snowy-night to stay at the B&B where she’s been camped out proofing her latest secret manuscript.  In awe of her ability, Ethan tracked her down thanks to a mutual friend, and does his best to both bed her and try to convince her to help support a literary App he’s developing and build her reputation by giving him access to her new work.   Ethan has cockiness to spare, though he works hard to convince her he is not the “dick” he seems to be.  Their attraction turns to heated sex, as they inch closer to getting what they want, which opens both up to further face their respective vulnerabitiies, goals and desire for mainstream acceptance.  Time passes in Act II, and though Olivia ultimately feels betrayed by Ethan, she can’t help but acknowledge his contribution to her ultimate newfound success, and their lust is unfailing.

Gunn and Magnussen deliver passionate portrayals and ooze chemistry, and Schwimmer keeps things steamily moving along.

SEX WITH STRANGERS features set design by Andromache Chalfant (2ST’s Bachelorette), costume design by ESosa (2ST’s By The Way, Meet Vera Stark), lighting design by Japhy Weideman (The Nance), and sound design by Fitz Patton (I’ll Eat You Last). 

Tickets are available by calling the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422 or by visiting www.2ST.comSEX WITH STRANGERS is performed at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre, 305 West 43rd Street (just west of Eighth Avenue).


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