Doing It By The Book
Reviewed by Mary Alderson
Remember all those “Dummies” books that came out about 10 or 15 years ago? In fact, I must confess, as I am sitting here at my desk, I can look over at my bookcase and see two in their distinctive yellow and black covers: Playwriting for Dummies and French for Dummies. And someday, I will finish reading them and follow their advice.
The play Sexy Laundry, now on stage at the Globus Theatre south of Bobcaygeon, could have been called Sex for Dummies, just like the precious book that Alice holds in her hand, various pages marked with colourful sticky notes.
Alice and Henry are staying in an upscale hotel room, where Alice is reading Sex for Dummies and trying to get Henry interested in some new ideas. In fact, the hotel stay is all part of Alice’s hopes to rekindle their sex life after 25 years of marriage. Both are busy with careers and kids, and she feels they’ve been neglecting each other. She has plans to cuddle, talk and have sex, while Henry just wants to watch the news on TV. There are plenty of laughs as they attempt massage, tell their fantasies, wear blindfolds, and more.
But nothing seems to be helping, and the whole concept deteriorates into a big argument. Act one ends with a collective intake of breath from the audience when there are threats of divorce. Many people watching this play can relate to the story, and they want the best for this couple, it seems.
Globus Theatre’s starring team takes on the two roles in this comedy – Sarah Quick is Alice and James Barrett is Henry in this two-person show. With comedy as their specialty, this pair, who are a couple in real life, handle the lengthy lines expertly. Both Quick and Barrett have perfect comedic timing, and many of the laughs in this show come from their interpretations of the script, together with their facial expressions. Obviously, they have the needed chemistry to make this work.
Sexy Laundry made the rounds of theatres, starting about 15 years ago. A check of this website tells me I’ve seen it four times now – 2008 at The Grand in London, 2009 at Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia, and 2015 with Drayton Entertainment at Grand Bend. Each production was a little bit different, with diverse interpretations of the script. In fact, Globus Theatre’s literature tells us that Sexy Laundry was one of their all-time best-selling shows, when it first hit their stage a decade ago.
The comedy has held up just fine, and the story still works for anyone who’s in a long-term marriage. This play gives us some laughs, but also offers food for thought when it comes to relationships.
Oh, I finally checked Amazon, and Sex for Dummies really exists. In fact, there are various versions in various languages. Remember Dr. Ruth Westheimer? She wrote the book! She is now 95 years old and still giving sex advice!
One last question: why is the laundry sexy? No, they aren’t washing lingerie. But I’m not telling you what sexy laundry they have – you’ll have to see this show.
Sexy Laundry continues at the Globus Theatre, Lakeview Arts Barn near Bobcaygeon, until July 8. Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at 705-738-2037 or 1-800-304-7897 or visit https://www.lakeviewartsbarn.com/globus-current-season
Photo: James Barrett and Sarah Quick as Henry and Alice.
By Michele Riml
Performed by Sarah Quick and James Barrett
Globus Theatre, Lakeview Arts Barn, Bobcaygeon
June 21 to July 8, 2023
Reviewed by Mary Alderson