By Laura Eason
Directed by Jessica Thebus
As part of Steppenwolf Theatre’s First Look Repertory of New Work
At Steppenwolf’s Garage Theatre
Two-hander ready for prime time
Laura Eason’s Sex With Strangers is provocative contemporary romantic drama about a hot young 24 year old scenester, Ethan Strange (Stephen Louis Grush) whose online blog of sexscapades has turned him into the “it” boy of the Internet. He has written a book capturing the 84 females he had sex with–meeting each was with a stranger usually at a bar. Ethan is a cocky, arrogant guy, vain and self-assured. He meets Olivia–a 30 something failed writer (Amy J. Carle) at a writers B & B retreat in Michigan. Ethan is always on the prowl and he is instantly attracted to Olivia, especially once he realizes that she is the author of a book he loved.
Of course, the two have a hook up that turns into dating (unheard of for Ethan) and the dating turns into something more. However, their online exploits threaten to destroy their real0life relationship. This clever, very contemporary drama has unique plot twists as the romantic elements are effected by both character’s personalities and the intrusiveness of the Internet. Playwright Laura Eason weaves a modern romance peopled by two quite different types proving that opposites do sometime attract. I liked this smart, often funny, romance that quickly engages us and hold us throughout. Grush and Carle have an interesting sensual attraction that sparks a true connection. This play could easily have legs.
At Steppenwolf’s Garage Theatre, 1624 N Halsted, Chicago, IL, Call 312-335-1650, tickets $20, Saturday, August 8 at 4:30 pm, Sunday, August 9 at 4:30 pm, running time is 2 hours with intermission, through August 9, 2009