Penetration Review - What is Real?

Written, directed, and produced by Peter Foldy, PENETRATION looks at love and sex as a humorous mix of reality and fantasy. Award-winning Foldy has made his mark as an author for film, television, and stage, with other professional contributions as producer, director, and even musician. In fact, “My First Time” ran off-Broadway and has been presented all over the world. Foldy brings his keen perception of people into focus in PENETRATION, a clever comedic romp being presented as part of the 2017 Los Angeles Fringe Festival.

Julia Henning, Swayde McCoy, and Trent Brown - Photo by Abigail Clark

Young Cody Weber (Trent Brown) is in love with a very conservative fiancé (Bree Wernicke) and has taken a purity pledge – no sex until marriage. It’s the night before the 2016 Presidential election, and Cody decides to celebrate by entering an internet chat room with Amanda (Julia Henning), a pretty young model who offers to fulfill his every fantasy. But Cody just can’t bring himself to cheat on his true love. That is, until he wakes up later to find Amanda, very dazed and confused, inside his apartment. Nobody know how she got there, and she can’t seem to leave.

Swayde McCoy, Julia Henning, and Trent Brown - Photo by Abigail Clark

Enter Cody’s best friend and roommate Kyle (Swayde McCoy). He’s thrilled to find Cody back to his old self; and the three end up having a little wine and a lot of laughs while revealing some very intimate secrets to each other. They’ve become so close that it’s hard to resist rationalizing away that pesky purity pledge. But the light of day raises some very weird questions. Was Amanda real – or only an apparition? What really happened in that cozy bed?

Bree Wernicke and Trent Brown - Photo by Abigail Clark

Playwright Foldy enjoys his dissection of love and sex – and the audience chuckles right along with him. Foldy’s idea is strong and has real potential. Perhaps it’s the brevity of the piece, but the four characters never really get fleshed out. It’s almost like a one-liner – or the germ of an idea which needs expansion. This is a play worthy of more work and a perspective which is more rounded. As it is, the play offers some quick laughs which suggest the possibility of a very funny two-act piece up the road.

Trent Brown and Julia Henning - Photo by Abigail Clark

PENETRATION runs through June 18, 2017, with performances at 3:30 p.m. on 6/18, at 7 p.m. on 6/13 and 6/17, at 8:30 p.m. on 6/9, and at 9 p.m. on 6/8 and 6/11/17.  The Dorie Theatre @ The Complex is located at 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90038. For information and reservations, go online.

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