Ten beautiful thirty-somethings thrash out their romantic ups and downs.
By Joel Benjamin
Women Are Crazy Because Men Are A**holes is actually mis-titled. All the characters in this sexy show—male and female—are crazy in their own ways, all equally daffy about love, sex and relationships. Five couples stand in for thirty-something heterosexuals everywhere. That each of these ten characters registers with warmth and humor is a testament to the writing and direction of Brad T. Gottfred and the talents of the cast members currently at the Cherry Lane Theatre.
Nicole (Mandy Henderson) is hosting a brunch for her friends to welcome the arrival of Dylan (Devlin Borra) with whom she’s had an intense internet romance. They are finally going to meet face to face. They reveal in soliloquies their fantasies, proving romantic insecurities aren’t the sole domain of hormonal adolescents. Nicole, a gorgeous woman with body issues, has, unfortunately, invested too much in this meeting making her ripe for disappointment. The rival for Dylan’s affections, unfortunately, turns out to be her own sister.
Nicole’s sweetie-pie brother Tim (Justin Sintic) has his own problems. He is an over-analyzer and has driven his girlfriend Phoenix (Nikki McKenzie), a budding children’s book writer, to leave him for a job in San Francisco. (WACBMAA takes place in Los Angeles.) Nicole’s svelte sister, Bella (Christine Donlon, who has legs for days) seems to have a wonderful relationship with her handsome boyfriend-slash-boss Reynold (Blake Boyd who also emcees the show). Cracks appear in their relationship when Bella meets her sister’s on-line-beau, Dylan. They feel an automatic mutual attraction. When revealed, this doesn’t sit too well with the “girl what brung him,” Nicole.
En route to the brunch are sweetly seductive Hillary (Tunisia Hardison) and George (Baxter Defy) whose brain seems permanently attached to his genitalia. They never manage to leave their car because they are caught up in jealous bickering over infidelities, real and imagined, and rounds of make-up sex.
The one remaining couple, Benny (John Weselcouch) and Mandy (JJ Nolan) are first seen having make-up sex. Mandy, her insecurities in full bloom, had hidden herself in Benny’s closet to witness smooth-talking Benny bedding another lady. Mandy later finds a novel way to both sooth jilted Nicole’s jangled emotions and get even with Benny.
The play is written as a series of black-out sketches with several of the characters addressing the audience directly. The effect is like watching a series of energetic ping-pong games in which egos and libido are the fragile balls being batted about. Mr. Gottfred really knows these people and knows how to perceptively exploit their foibles for both their comic effect and their underlying poignancy.
Let’s face it, seeing these ten gorgeous young people being so wackily unconfident under facades of sexual prowess is great entertainment, like watching a wicked person slip on a banana peel.
Women Are Crazy Because Men Are A**holes isn’t anthropology. It’s far closer in spirit to a 21st Century “Love Boat,” updated with lots of semi-nudity, simulated sex acts and modern technology.
Women Are Crazy Because Men Are A**holes (June 12-21, 2015)
Cherry Lane Theatre
38 Commerce St., between Bedford St. & Barrow St. in Greenwich Village
New York, NY
Running time: One hour 45 minutes including one intermission