Farce is defined as a light dramatic work in which highly improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters, and often slapstick elements are used for humorous effect. The current production of “Love, Sex, and the I.R.S” at Las Vegas Little Theatre aptly fits that description with endless twists of fate, sight gags, and mistaken identities. This entertaining romp is running through December 20th, and deserves a satisfying 3 Stars!
Jon Trachtman and Leslie Arthur are out of work musicians who room together in New York City. Though both roommates are men, Jon has been filing tax returns listing the pair as married -- to save money. The day of reckoning comes when the Internal Revenue Service informs the "couple" they're going to be investigated. Leslie masquerades as a housewife, aided by Jon's fiancée, Kate. Complicating matters further Leslie and Kate are having an affair behind Jon's back, Jon's mother drops in unexpectedly to meet her son's fiancée, and Leslie's ex-girlfriend shows up demanding to know why Leslie has changed and won't see her anymore.
Joel Hengstler (Leslie) is appropriately uncomfortable throughout his cross-dressing, quick changes to masquerade as a woman -- one of the most unattractive you've ever seen! Susannah Smitherman (Kate) effectively transfers her admiration and affection between the roommates while even masquerading as the vamp to distract the IRS investigator (Floyd Spinner), commendably portrayed by David Ament. Harry Huff (Mr. Jansen) is commendably comfortable as the beer-guzzling, lecherous landlord who keeps an eye out for live-in females. Lee Myers is believable as the stereotypical nagging, loud, talkative, overprotective, smothering, and overbearing mother, Vivian Trachtman, who persists in interfering in her son’s life and makes him feel guilty for actions which have caused her to suffer.
Director Emily Fagan-Baker keeps the entire acting ensemble on its toes throughout to deliver the high energy and dedication required of such tomfoolery – several getting staggering drunk, amorous men chasing frightened women, angry men chasing frightened men, people crawling out on window ledges, and the fiancée imploring "Jon, do something!" every 15 minutes.
This past-paced action takes place in a beautiful, Manhattan bachelor apartment designed by Ron Lindblom with lighting designed by Ginny Adams. The Opening Night audience was most appreciative of this fun-filled production with a talented cast and fast paced direction.