If there are adequate words to describe Michele Riml‚Äôs ‚ÄėSexy Laundry‚Äô they are as such: deeply sweet and charming, ridiculously funny, and jarringly realistic. The same words can be used to describe the Peterborough Players production as well with the added sentiment of adoration towards the whole production team who‚Äôve done something visually delightful with the single setting of a hotel room, and towards the two actors who tell the story with abounding wit and adamant fervor.
Bridget Beirne is Alice Lane, Tom Frey is her husband Henry Lane, and together they find themselves in an overpriced hotel room with the singular intention of reconnecting physically. Looking to repair several holes in their twenty-five year marriage and armed with a ‚ÄúSex For Dummies‚ÄĚ book, the pair discover more about each other than they knew before or ever wanted to know. Absurd fantasies arise and frustrations with work and with aging come out in this sweet slice of life, but tremendous love above everything else is truly the key player.
For those who are fond of romantic comedies, or those who‚Äôve been married for quite a long time, this is the play for you. There are moments that will make you cry laughing, others that will shock you voiceless with their sudden turn. However, even when sad moments arise they are quickly diffused by something outlandish and funny once again. This, in part, is what gives the story such bizarre realism. The rest of the believability comes from the two actors who display a roving chemistry between their characters that culminates in an endurable and hysterical sweetness.
I thought the performances by the actors were wonderful. There was not a moment when any of the jokes fell flat or didn‚Äôt la nd and even though there was adamant space for the characters to be interpreted as stereotypical romantic comedy leads, they were instead displayed as dynamic and new despite the correlation with such an overdone genre.
Mixed with the gorgeous lighting and sound design, done by Annie Garrett- Larson and Will Howell respectively, the production takes the audience away to a beach in Hawaii and a thoroughly unrealistic coffee shop, among other locations, with just the shift of color and added ambiance which is what makes the show, and this production as a whole something tremendously exciting to view.
The play is short, with only one act and just over an hour‚Äôs run time, but the amount of tremendous story telling that is packed into that time span is something wonderful. We go from viewing a couple with a strained physical relationship to viewing one that‚Äôs clutching at the strands of the term. Only then, when it seems hopeless, do we find two people who are so overwhelmingly in love with each other that even their most absurd fantasies just lead back to each other. I‚Äôm not a fan of romantic comedies, but I am most certainly a fan of this show.
Under the direction of Kenn McLaughlin, ‚ÄėSexy Laundry,‚Äô in its New Hampshire premiere, is visually stunning and laugh out loud hilarious. Playing from Aug. 29 to Sept. 9 at the Peterborough Players, it is not something you will want to miss.
What: ‚ÄúSexy Laundry‚ÄĚ
When: Aug. 29 to Spet. 9
Where: The Peterborough Players 55 Hadley Rd., Peterborough
Information: (603) 924-7585 or www.peterboroughplayers.org
Cheyenne Heinselman is an actress and a playwright, a member of the International Thespian Society Troupe #7883, as well as an avid and opinionated supporter of the arts.