by Brandon Palmer
The Edge Theatre at Colfax and Kipling has been running for two years now and this summer, aims to bring you what director Bill Smith refers to as “the hot, sizzling comedy of Denver, Colorado.” It’s Just Sex is a new play by Los Angeles playwright Jeff Gould, about three married couples who get together and decide to swap partners.
Smith shares some of his thoughts on the script: “Years ago, I used to enjoy directing what we sometimes call bedroom farces. This play takes a different slant. It’s now 2012 and we have concepts like swinging and orgies and so on and so forth; and for the first time, we have a play in which all of the participants publicly go to their separate bedrooms, matching up and pairing off.” The play doesn’t shy away from the sexual issues that come with marriage, and after the swap, follows each couple through their experimentation. However, Smith says, “We promise in this play, while it’s funny, there is no nudity whatsoever.”
“What we’re thrilled about,” remarks Smith, “is that after the end of the first three performances, we’ll do a Q&A with the playwright, the actors, the director, and the audience.” That’s right, L.A. playwright Jeff Gould will be in Denver, Colorado this weekend to talk with audiences and the creative team putting up the show. Gould gives us an insight into the creation of the script. “My wife and I, when I was married, would hang out with a bunch of other couples we knew through our kids. We would have these regular get-togethers, and my sick, twisted mind used to wonder what it would be like if we started swapping. That never happened, but while they were talking about the Kindergarten teacher, I was thinking about that.”
It’s Just Sex is Gould’s second play to be produced in L.A. and his first outside of the state. He was personally involved with the 21 month production at the Two Roads Theater in L.A. from 2008 through 2010 that claimed the title for the longest running comedy in the city’s history and won multiple awards. He even directed and produced a production of the show himself a year before. “It’s very hard sometimes,” says Gould, “for me as a writer to let go. It’s my material and I have a vision of it and want it to be a certain way.” But at the same time, he tells us, “It would be very interesting and maybe a thrill for me if there were certain discoveries that [The Edge] found in the play that I had not seen before. I feel like I know the play so well, and it would just be really interesting to see if they have a few interpretations that really catch my eye and make me go, ‘Wow, I never saw it that way’ or ‘I never thought of it that way!’”
Smith says, “The six principle actors are seasoned pros. In fact, they have all done one or more shows at The Edge Theatre in our two years. They are well-known by the Denver theatre community and they’re coming together as a really excellent ensemble in the sense of timing and mature performances.” With these Edge ‘veterans’ maneuvering audiences through the possibilities and potential outcomes and consequences of sexual experimentation outside of one’s marriage, Smith assures us, “It’s going to be a barrel of laughs, but I’d also like audiences to scratch their heads and say, ‘Hmm, what about my own life and my relationship with my significant other?’ I think there are singles and marrieds who will come to enjoy the play and play the voyeur on what happens when partners in marriage feel the urge to experiment.”
It’s Just Sex opens Friday, June 29 and plays through July 22. Friday and Saturday night shows begin at 8:00PM, Sundays at 6:00PM, with additional performances on Thursday, July 12 at 8:00PM and Sunday, July 22 at 2:00PM.
For tickets, call 303.232.0363 or visit www.theedgetheatre.com.
Note: Playwright Jeff Gould will conduct post-performance discussions Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30.