Carnival Knowledge: Love, Lust and Other Human Oddities

Carnival Knowledge: Love, Lust and Other Human Oddities

The two words that come to mind in describing this one-woman show by Naomi Grossman are “colorful” and “physical.” The former hits you as you enter the theater and are treated to the circus-tent backdrop festooned with posters that would make P.T. Barnum proud (courtesy of designers Steven K. Barnett and April Lawrence). The latter becomes quickly evident in Grossman’s storytelling style, beginning with a lively game of “Whack-a-Weenie” in which she takes a mallet to male members masquerading as moles (don’t bring the kids). Though Grossman has the air of a wide-eyed ingenue, her contortionism along with the dirty details of nine of her dates — from the stock boy at Trader Joe’s, to her yoga instructor, to Argentine soccer players (in the plural) — prove otherwise. But all is not wine and roses in this comic carnal romp, especially toward the end, when she tackles the darker side of love. Richard Embardo’s efficient direction, along with Christopher Ash’s nimble lighting and Kelley Rodgers’ whimsical soundtrack, helps Grossman quickly move between stories as she darts about the stage, putting to good use the fungible, Willy Wonka–hued set pieces. And while her characters are not quite as sharply drawn as they could be, her energy, impressive physicality and the occasionally clever pun in the writing carry the piece. Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., Hlywd.; Sun., 7 p.m. (no perf Nov. 29); through Dec. 13. (323) 930-1804. A Red Meat Entertainment Production.
Sundays, 7 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Oct. 4. Continues through Dec. 13, 2009