BlogCritics Magazine - December 27, 2007

Theatre Review (LA): Love Loves A Pornographer

Written by Robert Machray
Published December 27, 2007 Part of StageMage

The Circle X Theatre Company is one of the best in Los Angeles. Their previous productions have included Laura Comstock's Bag Punching Dog, In Flagrante Gothicto, and Great Men of Science Nos. 21 & 22, all of which have been nominated for or won various awards. The latest offering by this splendid company is a hilarious and stylish play called Love Loves A Pornographer which will doubtless be nominated for a few more awards.

Love Loves A Pornographer is about "blackmail, adultery and cucumber sandwiches" according to the press release. It is also about sex, manners, hilarity, over-the-top acting, and secrets - many, many secrets. The plot unfolds in a beautifully designed English parlor on the estate of Lord Loveworthy. The set by Gary Smoot, with lighting by Karl Gajdusek, is one of the best I have seen this year and the best use of the Inside The Ford Theatre. There must be around 75 oil paintings, reproduced I am told by Xerox and shellac, all individually illuminated, adorning all the walls of the theatre. Very impressive. The costumes by Paul Spadone are just right and complete the picture.

All this would be wasted if not for the fine acting by the talented ensemble. First there is the droll butler Fennimore, played by Weston Nathanson with a wonderful childlike glee. Then there are the next door neighbors, the Reverend Miles Monger (a hilariously campy Jim Azide) and his long-suffering wife, played by Johanna McKay looking for all the world like Lynn Redgrave and with similar talents.

The Loveworthys are a scheming lot, played by William Salyers, Gillian Doyle, and the lovely Kathleen Rose Perkins as their daughter Emily. They all could have come out of some Agatha Christie novel, and are full of as many surprises. Earl Kant rounds out the cast as Emily's sullen American fiancé with a secret or two of his own. It's great fun watching all the plot's twists and turns unfold and get set right at the end. The witty script is by Jeff Goode, who has written over 50 plays and whose work is seen around town in some of the best theatres. The director is Jillian Armente and her work is flawless. I recommend this one for a fun evening at the theatre. At Inside The Ford through Jan. 20.