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Entertaining Mr. Sloane

In a bizarre case of life imitating art, playwright Joe Orton's dark comedy presages his own demise; but, such wincing ironies aside, what we have here is a rueful and witty look at the lengths we go and the risks we take to accomodate our sexual desires.

Pamela Clifton as Kath
Pamela Clifton as Kath
Photo: Germinal Stage Denver
Middle-aged Kath (Pam Clifton), in a pink house dress, is trying to rent a room to a handsome, shifty-eyed young man, Sloane (Seth Palmer Harris). They share personal stories—they have an odd bond; she gave up a baby for adoption; he is an orphan—and Kath begins to come on to Sloane. Her father, Dada (Randy Diamon), dressed for construction work, is suspicious of Sloane, believing he is the man who killed his boss. Kath's brother, Ed (Augustus Truhn) trusts neither Kath nor Dada, but harbors an attraction for Sloane.

(Left to right) Augustus Truhn as Ed and Seth Palmer Harris as Sloane
(Left to right) Augustus Truhn as Ed
and Seth Palmer Harris as Sloane
Photo: Germinal Stage Denver
Germinal Stage veteran Stephen R. Kramer handles the directorial choices with Pinteresque aplomb, emphasizing the deliberations to reveal meaning beneath and between the words.

Clifton's gift for comedy allows her waltz Kath from one absurd statement to the next. Harris' eyes reveal Sloane menace and basic distrust. Truhn's Ed is wonderfully polished, with the subtlest of subtext that works at counterpoint to his literal meaning. Diamon's geriatric shuffle and hard-of-hearing affliction make for a quirky and unpredictable catalyst.

Germinal Stage Denver's Entertaining Mr. Sloane runs through March 18th. 303-455-7108.

Bob Bows

 

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