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REVIEW: Sin, Sex and the CIA at Cloverdale Performing Arts Center


REVIEW: Sin, Sex and the CIA at Cloverdale Performing Arts Center

Reviewed by Malena Eljumaily

With Donald Trump still ahead in the polls and all the other insanity coming out of Washington lately, I wouldn't be surprised if people mistook Cloverdale Performing Arts Center's latest production, Sin, Sex and the CIA, for a dry expose on recent American politics. But, luckily for everyone in the audience, this play is a farce and a very funny one at that.

Before the play even starts, you know you're in for a good time looking at the set Yave Guzman has put together. It's a rustic cabin with subtle hints at humor, like the antler wall sconces and the bearskin rug. And then there are all those doors. Six of them to my count. For those of you not familiar with the genre, farce depends on the perfect timing of people going in and coming out of doors—and sometimes windows, usually in rapid succession.

It's a dark and stormy night when a very unseasoned CIA agent (Nicolas James Augusta) shows up at the rustic safe house where an important, hush-hush diplomatic meeting is to take place.  The man he expects to meet has been replaced by a former Marine (Thomas Gibson) who quickly becomes the object of desire for the undersecretary of state (Angela Squire.) Things are soon complicated by the arrival of a fire and brimstone preacher (Robert Bauer) and his mousy secretary (Dawn Gibson), followed by a sultry neighbor (Tory Jason Rotlisberger) all seeking shelter from the storm. They are joined in Act II by Ranger Don (Crystal Amber Nezgoda) ostensibly there to help out, but looking a bit suspicious with that dodgy mustache.

All the characters and the performances are appropriately over the top.  I especially enjoyed the Reverend Samuel Abernathy's constant condemnation of the hanky-panky taking place around him--”Witness the sins of the flesh!”--as he heads once again for the drinks trolley. Also of note is poor inept CIA agent Luke James' constant attempts to thwart intruders without success and usually with disastrous consequences.

Director Jeremy Boucher seems to understand how necessary nonsense is for this type of play. There is plenty of physical humor throughout. We also have the expected double entendres, misheard and overheard conversations. Lots of rapid-fire entrances and exits. The humor is not subtle. It's all silly and absurd and just a heck of a lot of fun. I honestly haven't laughed this much in a very long time.

Since this is not a play you'd want to bring the whole family to (because of mild adult content,) I think this would be an excellent date play. You know, like a date movie. Only how much more urbane and sophisticated would a potential sweetheart think you were if you asked her to a play instead of a movie? It's all in 3D and you don't have to wear silly glasses to get the effect. The price of a ticket for Sin, Sex and the CIA is only about $5.00 more than a 3D movie ticket. Seeing a movie is just seeing a movie, but going to the theater is an event.

Running October 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 7:30pm, October 11 and 18 at 2pm.

Cloverdale Performing Arts Center

209 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale