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The Sexual Life of Savages Theatre Review – Riveting and Raunchy

By Ester Benjamin Shifren

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Hal (Luke Cook ) and Jean (Melissa Paladino) have been living together for two years and Hal, in answer to the “How many” question, is shocked and hurt to discover that Jean’s total, excluding him, and others who received varying sexual “favors,” is 25— way in excess of his own sexual encounters. Hal seeks advice from Clark (Burt Grinstead), his close friend and co-worker, and is mind-blown when Clark reveals that 25 is a fairly low number, and that he and his wife moonlight as swingers and regularly pick up women for a “Menage a trois.”




Jean, on the other side of the coin, seeks advice from her co-worker and lesbian friend Naomi (Lynn Mikeska), who states that if, as Jean believes, oral sex “doesn’t count,” then she, Naomi, has been without sex for five years. Like it or not, oral sex counts, and Jean should own it. Hal, prudish, judgmental, and inflexible, is unable to come to terms with Jean’s sexual revelations,and constantly confronts and “slut-shames” her, ultimately leading to their break-up. His attempts at apology fail abysmally. Desperate to find the perfect woman, Hal dates Alice (Melanie Lyons), a virginal, substitute teacher at his school. She carries a lot of baggage. Clark, upon hearing she’s a virgin, offers Hal his condolences!



Though it’s difficult to single anyone out from the superb cast, Melissa Paladino was notable for her believable ease of movement during constant posture changes.

Ian MacAllister-McDonald's Sexual Life of Savages, examines our own hidden thoughts about sexual constraints and beliefs. Interspersed with fierce humor, this superb, fast-paced presentation pulls no punches and delivers many twists and turns, and angles to ponder about tolerance, empathy, and morality. It doesn’t furnish any answers, and there’s no closure. This production isn’t for children or those who blush easily and are offended by explicit sexual content, but is for anyone who enjoys raunchy punch lines and can take what’s offered! Fabulously directed and staged, and superbly cast with riveting performances by all.




Playwright: Ian MacAllister-McDonald

Directed by: Elina de Santos

Producing Artistic Director: Gary Grossman

“Developed through our INKubator program, We’re lucky to have found this talented young playwright, whose fresh voice about relationships will undoubtedly find audiences nationwide” says Gary Grossman; Producing Artistic Director.

Production Stage Manager: Colin Grossman

CAST:  Luke Cook (as Hal), Burt Grinstead (as Clark), Melanie Lyons (as Alice), T. Lynn Mikeska (as Naomi), and Melissa Paladino (as Jean)

PRODUCTION TEAM:  includes Hazel Kuang (Set), Jeff McLaughlin (Lighting), Chris Moscatiello (Sound), and Kelly Bailey (Costumes)


SKYLIGHT THEATRE COMPANY is about discovering, developing and producing new, impassioned theater while nurturing and educating the artists that create it. We offer writers a home to test and refine their work through our programs, and before a live audience, giving voice to new perspectives of American life. We are a vibrant and expanding family of artists, Our goal is to help establish Los Angeles as a center of innovation in the American Theatre. Skylight's world premiere production of Hermetically Sealed was on the LA Times Top Ten Plays for 2011. In 2013, Skylight's productions of Years To The Day and Sexsting, and were on the LA Weekly’s list of Top Ten Plays for the year.

Photos by: Ed Krieger

When: Opens July 6th and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 7pm through August 16. 2014

Reservations: 213-761-7061 or online at Beverly Hills Playhouse

How much $30 - $34

Runs: 80 minutes without intermission

Where: Beverly Hills Playhouse, 254 South Robertson Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA

Published on Jul 07, 2014

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