Naked Before God, Circle X Theatre’s World Premiere at [Inside] the Ford is slightly reflective of the issues in the raunchy cable sitcom Californication. There are laughs and an odd family situation that just might work for Reality TV.
Playwright/Director Leo Geter has conceived a situation steeped in silly dramatics that hits the stage at sixty miles an hour and for two fast paced acts seldom lets up. There are sex jokes, plot twists and moments of base stupidity.
Kristen (effusive Jennifer A. Skinner) and Vinnie (spot on Larry Clarke) are former Adult Film stars, who, through a miscalculated on set ejaculation twenty years ago have created a son, (a studly, not gay, gay porn star wannabe who doesn’t have the shoulders to be a ‘top) Duncan (Morgan McClellan), who is now almost nineteen years of age.
In the first five minutes, dildoes retrieved from a pot of boiling water foreshadow what’s to come. Duncan, after filming his first audition (it’s for the Internet!!) brings home his sex scene partner “Nick from Kansas” (equally studly Christopher Foley) who says he’s on the lam from his angry uncle back home for having sex with his, Nick’s, cousin who isn’t related by blood. Really?
Why this ménage is set in Phoenix is not clear. It’s equally hot in Chatsworth in the summer time as heat has something to do with risky business in the second act involving helicopters and the Afghan translator, Octavio (Aly Mawji), holding folks at gunpoint in the back yard by the pool.
The plot gets curiouser and curiouser (my spell check would like to substitute “curio user” and “carouser” here!!) with the arrival of news of … well, that would be a spoiler alert that leads to more histrionics from Kristen whose only excuse for going over the top is that she is… AN ACTRESS !!!! Christian radio personality, Barry (William Salyers) and Jen Kays as Duncan’s preggers wife, Carly, keep up the frantic pace. To his credit, director Geter manages to have his actors all on the same page. Performances are dedicated and consistent.
Circle X tries new things. Good on them. This World Premiere is from their writers’ group attached to the company. It is a bold first effort. Naked Before God, a broad farce, is immature and masturbatory, which may have been the goal. Decent tech credits from Brian Sidney Bembridge.
Naked Before God
Written and directed by Leo Geter
Presented by Circle X Theatre Company
Opened Mar 24, 2012
Plays Thur-Sat 8 pm; Sun 2 pm and 7 pm
Through Apr 28, 2012
[Inside] the Ford at the Ford Theatres complex,
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood 90068
323-461-3673 (323-GO-1-FORD). www. FordTheatres.org.
***Recommended for mature audiences, 17+