No Fireworks

Antonio

The whole motivation for the play is that Marshall suggests to Angela that she marry Antonio, whom she has never met, and she agrees, meets Antonio in a gallery, and is in bed with him by the next scene. Surprisingly in a work subtitled "An Unusual Romance," the driving force of the dramatic action is quite traditionally heterosexual: Let's get these bisexual men hitched to power-hungry blondes ASAP. In short neither the sex nor the sexuality is believable. We have no idea why Marshall decides to set up Antonio with Angela, but the stage chemistry between the two is entirely unconvincing. When he's saying, "Just let your body guide you," and she's smiling blissfully, the audience is thinking, Yeah, right. Andrea Davis has latched on to giving Angela a sort of poor-little-rich-girl slutty sex appeal, but she doesn't stray from this to find any real depth or meaning in her character. In bed, out of bed, denying themselves pleasure, succumbing to it, nude or fully clothed, these actors are just not very sexy. One wonders why Tommaney, who also directed, allowed them to struggle in these parts.

Bisexual sex and celebrity, but little else
Bisexual sex and celebrity, but little else

Details

Written and directed by Jim Tommaney. Starring Julio Scardini, Chris Vicchiollo, Liz Dennis, and Andrea Davis.
Through June 4. EDGE/North at the Studio Theater, 640 N Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale; 954-733-8735.

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Chris Vicchiollo and Liz Dennis have managed to carve out characters with some verisimilitude. Dennis, in particular, consistently controls her intensity throughout the play so that her character's personality evolves as she encounters different situations. Bianca has a characteristic way of striding into a room, stopping, evaluating. She is savvy as a businesswoman and as a lover. She is as Marshall paints her: the tigress at rest. Largely to the credit of Dennis and Vicchiollo, the play's attempt to explore human relationships from a new angle keeps the audience hanging on. But when the plot begins to pick up speed, our final fear is confirmed: We are racing toward an unsuitably neat and tidy resolution. Antonio appears one evening as a desert chieftain dressed in white. We see him leaning over the slumbering Marshall, and the stage, for the 100th time, goes black. After the usual bumping-around, Little Rascals scene change, we watch Marshall wake up alone and fully clothed. It is only when he catches sight of the sheik's white head cloth that he remembers, Yes, Antonio paid me a visit last night! At last we have consummated our love! Amazingly Marshall realizes he can now marry Bianca -- who seemed to stir no sexual arousal in him until she brought over a large pizza and ripped off her slutty little sex-shop dress. Why would physically expressing a love that you have held for so long be the reason to cement a less- passionate relationship? And who wakes up incognizant after a night of long-awaited fornication? These are the kinds of questions that make the drama seem inauthentic and unconvincing.

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