Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sex With Strangers

Kyle Coffman & JoAnna Rhinehart
Philadelphia Theatre Company, located in The Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad & Lombard Streets, is presenting Sex With Strangers through May 8.  Olivia Lago (JoAnna Rhinehart), a teacher with one published novel, has come to spend some time in a writer's lodge located in a remote area in order to give herself some quiet space to write. Haunted by mixed reviews of her first novel, she has little confidence in the work she has near to completion. Enter Ethan Kane (Kyle Coffman) who has a writing deadline of his own. Never before have two such opposite personalities been marooned in a raging snowstorm together. He, an outgoing, confident, successful and impertinent young writer of trash… "Sex With Strangers" is a compilation of his exploitations of a multitude of women over the period of a year.  She, an older, reflective woman with great writing skills but little self-confidence or ability to bear criticism…Her second novel is kept close to the chest. And yet, what are they to do when stranded in the middle of a blizzard with neither food nor internet but only bottles of wine to sustain them?  Kyle gives a strong performance as the brash young writer, but JoAnna Rhinehart’s performance is outstanding. She expresses a wide range of raw emotions from giddiness to anger, fear and sorrow.  The creative team has greatly enhanced this production. Scott Killian’s musical interludes between scenes are mood changers.  Christopher Bailey’s lighting designs have aptly portrayed the passage of time. Jason Simms has created a double set; one for the first and another for the second act that brings applause from the audience. This is far from a comedy, but playwright Laura Eason has generously sprinkled laugh lines throughout the play. It is fascinating to observe the characters’ role reversals see-saw back and forth. For more information or tickets to see this compelling work, call 215-985-0420 or visit online at  

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