By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
There's also an appealing reversal of fortune in Steven Korbar's "Hard," directed by Benjamin Caron. Corby Griesenbeck has a pleasingly arrogant-dazed reaction, portraying a straight actor who's chosen to do gay porn for financial reasons. The playlet unfolds backstage before his scene of being gangbanged, and involves his interaction with a female "fluffer" (Kate Huffman) — hired to arouse him before his scene. The nicely cast Huffman portrays the antithesis of porn-meat arousal — a lanky, awkward, squeaky-voiced and suburban-attired damsel from Kansas, who's wandered in from some accounting company and is able to accomplish her task without removing a stitch, or an iota of physical contact.
Over in North Hollywood, Theatre Unleashed presents Andrew Moore's comedy Torrid Affaire, directed by Erin Scott, about a quintet of femmes at a kind of Tupperware party for horny women — the plastic items are sex toys, not coleslaw containers. Through this demonstration, led by Annmarie Mignini — who gives it her all — individuals break into gratuitous soliloquies about romantic and life crises, in the middle of living-room realism. I'm sure these are nice people performing for reasons they believe in, and I wish I had something nice to say about this production, but I don't.
COUSIN BETTE | By JEFFREY HATCHER, adapted from the novel by HONORÉ de BALZAC | Presented by THE ANTAEUS COMPANY at DEAF WEST THEATRE | 5112 Lankershim Blvd., N. Hlywd. | Through March 21 | (818) 506-5436
LOVE BITES, VOLUME IX | Presented by ELEPHANT THEATRE COMPANY | 1078 Lilian Way, L.A. | Sun., 7 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; through March 14 | (323) 960-4410 | plays411.com/lovebites
TORRID AFFAIRE | By ANDREW MOORE | Presented by THEATRE UNLEASHED at the SHERRY THEATRE | 11052 Magnolia Blvd., N. Hlywd. | Through March 6 | (818) 849-4039