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Stage Raw: Love Sucks

Stage Raw: Love Sucks

NEW REVIEW GO LOVE SUCKS

Photo by Michael Lamont

In traditional French farce, though everybody determinedly pursues

sex, their efforts are constantly thwarted and conventional morality

triumphs by default. Here, successfully inverting that formula,

writer-director Rob Mersola sets his play in New York's Lower East Side,

and populates it with a randy bunch of characters who look for love in

all the wrong places, and eagerly indulge in sex wherever it lurks, in

beds, bars, backseats or bathroom stalls. Pretty Josie (Sadie Alexandru)

is obsessed with unreliable, opportunistic but well-endowed Harlan

(Michael Alperin). Her gay roommate Calvin (Joshua Bitton) goes in for

frequent anonymous sex; stockbroker Charlie (Daniel Ponickly) gives BJs

in public restrooms, when he isn't making wedding plans with his fiancée

(Jeni Verdon); and lecherous faux-gypsy seducer Giuseppi (Anil Kumar)

ruthlessly pursues every woman who crosses his path. In the course of 48

hours, each of them has a fling with (at least) two of the others, till

they all come together for a hilarious series of revelations and

confrontations. Mersola hones his amiably grungy plot into a

surprisingly elegant roundelay, and stages it with verve. All five

actors wield solid comic skills, acquitting themselves with style on

Burris Jakes' handsome, flexible unit set. Coast Playhouse, 8325 Santa

Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Fri., 8 p.m., Sat., 8 & 10:30 p.m., Sun., 7

p.m. A Springtime 4 & East 4th Street Production. (866) 811-4111,

lovesucksplay.com. (Neal Weaver)

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