by Frank O’Donnell
Kevin Broccoli is quite clear when he introduces “The Bedroom Plays,” his new summer show. “It’s good clean naked fun,” say Broccoli. “But always more fun with liquor.”
Okay, let’s get this out of the way. You will see naked people, ranging from various stages of undress to completely nude.
Broccoli has written ten short pieces which are in turn directed by ten different people. And each gets progressively racier, and as the night goes on, features more and more skin.
Broccoli calls the show “provocative, unique and incredibly entertaining,” and I’d have to agree he hit all three marks.
The night starts with a monologue called “A Thousand Orgasms.” Actress Jill D. Jones simply recounts her exploits with a man who provided her with the title of the piece. It’s a little sad, somewhat provocative, and skin-free.
The second piece, “The Dirty Talk,” features a young couple trying to get “break” the other with increasingly filthy sexual things he or she wants the other to do. The first to break gets to stay up all night with their crying infant. Dirty talk, performed on a bed in night clothes.
Next up is “Something People Say,” where a gay couple on their first date arranges for a male escort to join them. Simulated sex acts here, and a wonderfully funny performance by Michael Shallcross
In between each piece, Mary Paolino serves as emcee. She warns the audience what’s coming next, and dares folks to leave before things get out of hand. Broccoli thinks it would be funny to see audience members leave. I’m told that only happened at one show – so far. Paolino is terrific in her role, as she gets increasingly agitated at what’s about to come, and at people not taking her word about leaving. A terrific bit of casting by Broccoli, handing over a role you’d really expect to see him play.
“Roommates” is a fun piece about a guy and a girl who share a one-room apartment and a single bed. There’s genuine hilarity when both are there at the same time with dates, forcing them to erect an absurd energy wall down the center of the bed.
“The Knot” features five women at some sort of convention practicing a team-building exercise that’s lifted from the wrong website. Tammy Brown is very funny as the one who gets a little out of control with all the touching involved in making The Pretzel.
In “The Double,” some movie folks are looking for a double for a major film star to step in for some sex scenes. Underwear here, plus some jock straps.
Then comes intermission, where more of the aforementioned liquor can be purchased. Because after intermission, things step up.
“Truth or Dare” involves a group of friends waxing nostalgic about an old childhood game that gets very adult in a hurry as a dare is issued. “Gamma Gamma Gamma” features a group of frat boys throwing a bachelor party for a brother who has an odd request. “The PTA” is all about a clothing-free fundraiser. And “Speed” is set in a hotel room where some fetish-driven speed dating gets out of control. That one plays like a British farce, with insanely funny characters entering and exiting until just about everyone in the scene is on stage, wearing nothing but whipped cream, peanut butter and jelly.
“The Bedroom Plays” is not like any show you’ve seen in Rhode Island before. It moves along quickly, and features some of the area’s better actors and directors. I really enjoyed how some references ran throughout the show.
It’s a wild show worth seeing, and a fun way to heat up your summer.
“The Bedroom Plays” appears at Mixed Magic Theater on Mineral Spring Avenue in Pawtucket through this weekend. For tickets and details, visit https://mmtri.com.