This production has been cancelled due to Hurricane Florence.
By Nancy Wellard/IslandPacket
You need not have experienced sporadic memory loss, hormonal upsets, hot flashes or even passed your 60th year to laugh your head off at “Sex Please, We’re Sixty!”
But there is no doubt that based on the suppressed giggles and loud, raucous whoops, many in the packed house clearly fit that profile.
Theatergoers may know the creative work of the Florida playwrights Michael and Susan Parker, who wrote the play. The British born couple, now living in Florida, have a list of enormously successful plays. I bring this up because their British beginnings seem to add a wonderful kind of English drawing room comedy/farce element to this fast paced, slightly screwball piece.
Funny, filled with energy and a bit raunchy, the evening handles, among other things, libidos, trysts, and little blue pills. There is also a leit motif dealing with life issues, determining futures, venturing on in life, and values.
The storyline, set in the present, begins in Mrs. Stancliffe’s Rose Cottage Bed & Breakfast somewhere in the South..
Mrs. Stancliffe, (Kay Owen) herself a mature woman, is anticipating the arrival and return visit of three women who have ripened, come of age or are in their prime and are revisiting their southern weekend outing.
Mrs. Stancliffe, rigid and somewhat inflexible, is something of an OCD hostess, compulsively checking the time and organizing the books, the registrations or the iced tea table. The visitors arrive individually. We meet Victoria Ambrose (Connie Hoskins) a successful romance novelist who is suffering something of a literary block and feels unable to put the finishing touches on her latest book; Charmaine Beauregard, (Carol Miller) a Southern belle with a drawl so broad you could drive a John Deere tractor right through it, who is looking for a little spice in her life; and Hillary Hudson (Anne Helm), a kind of insider who appears to share the others’ interest in enjoying the setting and even possibly a little U-turn on the highway of life.
Very early on you’ll meet Bud Davis ( JT Chinn) who calls himself Bud “The Stud.” He thinks he’s quite the Lothario or Casanova as he shuffles around the cottage displaying a serious Quasimodo “my back’s out” posture, while he is focused on getting to know any of these Cottage guests … in a Biblical way. He lets us know that he’d be more specific about the women, with whom he shares a history, if he could only remember who they might have been, and oh, their names.
The other man in our story is Henry Mitchell (Michael Ryan), a man of substance, a retired chemist and a neighbor who has truly been hopeful for a serious and permanent future as the husband of the prickly Mrs. Stancliffe, a widow of some 20 years. He proposes daily, and she has for years and years, turned him down.
Henry and Bud are friends, of course, and its not long after Bud describes his particular interest in the cluster of female possibilities before Henry mentions to Bud that he has developed a kind of female medicinal formulation, a little blue pill that he calls Venusia. When he describes its properties, we, in the audience, can absolutely anticipate what is about to happen.
Needless to say, there is lots of activity — choreographed entrances and exits, slamming doors, and pratfalls particularly — when the bottles and their contents emerge at various locations and around the iced tea table.
Those same magical little bottles, along with their contents and positioning, become a kind of star of the show, and in so doing, take our story along another path.
Directed by Margy Oehlert, “Sex Please, We’re Sixty!” becomes the entertaining outcome of the creative collaboration of Coastal Stage Productions founding partners, Rodney Vaughn and Luke Cleveland, with the support of the crew members and of course, the excellent cast.