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Friday, June 14, 2024

Theatre review: AFTER is as much fun as foreplay

Now playing at Commercial Drive’s Havana Theatre, AFTER is a new play by playwright Martha Herrera-Lasso, co-produced by dream of passion productions and Excavation Theatre.

AFTER tells the stories of 30-something Sandra who is looking for her one true love, James a ‘free-spirited’ guy in his 30s.  Jackie and Daniel are in their 20s, with the former confused about what she wants and who she is, while Daniel simply doesn’t like drama.  Each at a different stage in their lives, the foursome get caught up in complicated and sometimes surprisingly emotional and confusing conversations after sex.

While AFTER reads like it is all about sex and drama, it is really a story about honesty, with yourself and your partner.  That the actors are sexy and attractive is secondary to their witty voyage of self-discovery.  Its simple set of a single bed keeps the focus on the characters and their attempts to be honest with their partners and themselves.

The female characters are the most developed and emotionally exposed; this is especially true of Stefania Indelicato’s Sandra who opens the show by baring her feelings to James in a monologue.  The hunky Al Miro’s James could easily have been just sexy eye-candy, but his well-timed comedic moments rise above the role of mere sex object. Daniel, played by Matthew McLellan, is the least developed character, but not because of any fault of the very capable McLellan who finds himself paired against Jane Hancock’s Jackie who fills the stage with neuroses and angst.

Throw it all together and AFTER is as much fun as foreplay.

By Martha Herrera-Lasso.  A co-production of dream of passion productions and Excavation Theatre. AFTER plays the Havana Theatre (1216 Commercial Dr) through April 5.  Tickets are available online at Brown Paper Tickets.

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