Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I've at least a handful of complaints about Kate Robin's play anon, including that it's too long at two and a half hours, that it too often threatens to go to the "sisterhood of womyn" place when it locates sexually compulsive behavior as a strictly male evil, and that (in this production, at least) it wavers unsteadily in tone. Happily, I've more than a handful of reasons to recommend it anyway: the issues it raises (playfully and gently in the main story of a man and woman dealing with his sex addiction two months into their relationship, more darkly and unsubtly in the secondary story of the man's parents also struggling many years into their marriage) and the arguments these issues inspire are likely to sound bells of recognition. Have we become a sexually compulsive culture in danger of losing our capacity for genuine intimacy? I admired where Robin's play wound up - it recognizes that it takes two to do a co-dependent tango - and I very often smiled at the play's spot-on observations about the struggles of sex and emotional connectedness. I also laughed alot - the play alternates the scenes of the two couples with monologues from women at a support group, and half of them are laced with sharp, comic observations. (Susan Blackwell's monologue is, surprisingly, one of the gravely serious ones, and she delivers it with appropriate intensity and deliberateness). The play is short of coming together fully, but it passed both the "does it speak with relevancy to the world I live in?" and the "does it stimulate passionate discussion afterward?" tests with flying colors.