Love Sucks

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.
Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 & 10:30 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Feb. 25. Continues through April 11, 2011


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