Directed by Damian Arnold
Produced by New Lincoln Theatre Productions
At Stage 773 (formerly the Theatre Building Chicago)
Poor writing dooms sex farce
Entertainment attorney Charles Grippo’s new farce is a dud. The matinee I attended found no one laughing – a bad sign for a farce. Despite the cast working frantically to garner any humor in Grippo’s script, there wasn’t much there to harvest. Sex Marks the Spot is a farce-by-the-numbers formulaic comedy that depends on the set-up to start the farce rolling. Grippo’s initial writing fails to get his to believe that Senator Richard Clooney is an empathetic enough character worthy of our caring.
The cliche ridden dialogue’s wordplay and double meanings were lost due to much poor comedic timing. Throughout the play, the lines, antics, screaming, chasing and physical comedy simply fell flat. No one laughed and as things moved into the frantic eventual sequence, the play became a silly waste of time.
There are many reasons for Sex Marks the Spot’s failure: the sophomoric writing, the stereotypical shallow characters, the spotty delivery of punch lines and the unlikeable main character. Other than women running around in sexy negligee, this show is not sexy or risque enough to titillate – we don’t believe the groping is real. The Detective, Wally Sommers and Desiree characters were more irritating than funny. When a farce doesn’t work it plays out as a silly manic failure. Too bad all the efforts by the dedicated cast were wasted.
At Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL, call 773-327-5252, tickets $26, Thursdays thur Saturdays at 7:30, matinees on Saturday & Sunday at 2:30 pm, running time is 2 hours with intermission.