Sex is the first thing you’ll see. In a modest living room retrofitted with posters of Farrah Fawcett and peppered with cans of Tab, recently rejected Leslie (Bret Colombo) and soon-to-be wed Kate (Tamara Lynn Davis) playfully tussle and grope each other in a kissing frenzy fueled by forbidden lust. Their heavy petting session is interrupted when a reminder of Kate’s impending nuptials arises. Leslie insists that she must tell her betrothed that the wedding is off, which Kate hesitates to do despite that fact that the event is just three weeks away. The romp is halted completely with the intrusion of Leslie’s fanatically strict landlord Mr. Jansen (Barry Agin). Jansen uses the hand delivery of a telegraph as an opportunity to scoop about the apartment, determined to find unauthorized females on the premises. After all, the lease clearly states no co-ed occupancy unless the couple is married. Leslie succeeds in keeping Kate hide from Jansen’s discovery, so the landlord instead helps himself to every beer left in the fridge.
Enter Jon (Nathanial Dobies), Leslie’s roommate and Kate’s fiancé, totally stoked about the gig he has just landed for his and Leslie’s band. Those raging ambers are quickly doused with a phone from the IRS, informing him that an agent is on the way to examine his past returns. It is at this point that Jon is cornered into confessing that he has filed jointly with his roommate, fraudulently claiming Leslie as his wife. Leslie, appalled and outraged, but still more fearful of jail, dons a wig, heels and “dress”, taking up the masquerade.
Even though IRS Agent Floyd Spinner (George Cummings) arrives early, he seems pretty easy to appease in his examination of Leslie and Jon’s relationship. The real problem is that Spinner seems to have no interest in leaving once the interview is over. He eagerly takes Jon up on the roommate’s unintentional invitation to a home-cooked meal that would feature Leslie at the chef.
So, Leslie and Kate have to keep their affair from Jon. Jon and Leslie have to keep Leslie’s true gender concealed from Spinner. They also have to keep Mr. Jansen from discovering a female of any kind in their apartment. Kate has to keep Spinner’s romantic advances at bay without making things worst for the roommates. Connie (Carole Catanzaro), Leslie’s ex shows up unannounced after deciding she will take Leslie back.
Oh, and lest we forget, that telegraph that Jansen delivered at the top of the show; that was from Jon’s mother, Vivian (Sally Richter). She has flown in from Chicago and is waiting at the airport.
My date pretty much summed this show up: Three’s Company in acid. The show is fun, even though you can see every joke coming a mile away. That is perhaps the biggest problem I had with it. The story starts out absurd, leaving it no real place to go, except from one sight gag to the next. I will be the first to acknowledge that good comic timing is hard. Physical comedy is even hard. This show goes all out, exposing every gag in the book – some playing out more successfully that others. Give this company a week to get its sea legs and the Tribe should have a pretty good production on their hands.
Love, Sex and the IRS runs now through January 30, 2011 at:
The Dorie Theatre at The Complex in Hollywood
6476 Santa Monica Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90038
Tickets are $20; $15 if you're a Senior, Student, or Child
Box Office: (661-547-1173)