Skin Tight

By Gary Hendersoncor theatre

Directed by Victoria (toy) Deiorio

Produced by Cor Theatre

At A Red Orchid Theatre

Visceral i tense physical lover story works on several levels

Kudos to the newly former (by Vicctoria Deiorio and Tosha Fowler) Cor Theatre for their dedicated to riskier and more adventurous works.  That was  vividly shown in New Zealand playwright Gary Henderson’s Skin Tight, now playing off-nights (Sunday, Monday & Tuesdays) at A Red Orchid Theatre. Skin Tight is a 50 minute two-hander about a couple living in a special relationship despite being married. We find Tosha Fowler (Ekizabeth) and her husband Tom (Tony Bozzuto) engaged in a highly physical game where ultimate violence – slapping, kicking, punching, biting, wrestling, gouging, and grouping led to foundling, kissing and love making. Their visceral encounters are filled with laughter, violence, and erotic abandon. When apples appear, Elizabeth bites them while Tom cuts them with a knife sucking the  juice from the blade.  Eventually Elizabeth and Tom do a movement/dance with the blade in Elizabeth’s mouth. Reckless adventures fuel their love.

cor theatre

Interspersed with all the physicality are emotional conversations about the couples long marriage, Tom’s venture in the war, and Elizabeth’s confession to adultery while Tom was away fighting. There are references to a daughter estranged from Elizabeth. The two reference their first love making; the loss of their farm, and their fighting that keeps their love alive.

With all their antics and contradictions, the two are still deeply in love despite their strange showings. Eventually, as the sensuality escalates,  we learn that Tom may be going insane as fate deals Elizabeth a cruel hand. The action is a most unique expression of love. The tender ending, while quite sensual (including full nudity by both) is a sad, yet highly romantic scene expressing the essence of true love.  Kudos to the bravery and full commitment of the players here.

cor theatre

The exquisite movements were so finely tuned and fully executed that their inherent danger  seemed like child’s play. Tony Bozzuto and Tosha Fowler’ passion was evident. I truly believed that these two were madly in love. Their erotic verve was magnificent to watch. Playwright Gary Henderson’s work sheds new light on the nature of love as his script graphically depicts the bloody sinew of a skinned animal. The line between sexual gratification and physical violence is blurred here yet we come off with our human lust totally satisfied.  Tosha Fowler and Tony Bozzuto each gave deeply engaging performances. Skin Tight is one of those little gems that needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. It ekes out the power of live theatre magnificently. What a engrossing hour of theatre! I can’t imagine a finer off night show.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: August 28, 2012

For more info checkout the Skin Tight page at

At A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells, Chicago, IL, call 312-391-2536, tickets $15, Sunday, Monday & Tuesdays at 8 pm, running time is 50 minutes without an intermission, through September 25, 2012

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