Sex, squabbles and other ingredients to love, disaster and laughter | VailDaily.com
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Sex, squabbles and other ingredients to love, disaster and laughter

Shauna Farnell

BEAVER CREEK – Not to be mistaken with “Sex in the City,” “Sex and the Second City” puts the male-female relationship quagmire onto the examination table.Cutting through the chase, the audience meets the star couple in “Sex and the Second City” as they’re starting their divorce proceedings. Both he and she begin the story armed with a divorce lawyer, but the divorce lawyers unwittingly begin a relationship of their own in an anonymous chat room.”We show what it’s like for women dealing with men, and also how things look from the man’s point of view,” said Beth Crosby, who plays a divorce lawyer and a series of other characters in “Sex and the Second City.” “It’s obvious that women are going to like it, because women like to watch stuff about relationships. I can tell that the men are dragged along in some cases, but they end up laughing their (rears) off at times too. It deals with sex and mature material. It’s kind of racy, but it’s not lewd.”Anybody who’s had an intimate relationship knows the ins and outs of what often amounts to groundless bickering, and “Sex and the Second City” strikes one high note after another.

“I know that everybody relates to it,” said Beth Kligerman, producer with Second City, a Chicago-based theater company that began in 1959.”I was in Dallas recently watching the show, and I started watching couples in the audience doing the proverbial nod to each other. It hits home with a lot of couples.”A four-member cast with distinctive musical prowess walks, dances and in some scenes, flounders through the 80-minute comedy.

The story begins in divorce court, with the couple in question hemming and hawing about what it is they want to accomplish in or out of their relationship.”We take a look at why they’re divorcing, what happens in the process of divorce and what happens with potential reconciliation,” Kligerman said. “There’s definitely a story, but it’s a fun, loose thread.”Whether it’s the simplicity of bed-time rituals or an innocent game of Pictionary, when tension is in the air, the most benign settings can transform into a firing range for some couples.”The Pictionary scene is classic,” said Crosby, who said the scene was written by “40-year-old Virgin” writer Steve Carell. “These two couples are playing a simple game of Pictionary, but you really see the competitive nature of men – how they don’t listen – and how the women are in just in their own world.”The set unexpectedly transforms into a dating game when the couple decides to see other people, and the cast is spun into an audience-driven round of fast-paced improvisation.

“It’s a quick show – 80 minutes. Once the audience gets on board, they’re with us,” Crosby said. “We just played West Palm Beach. It was gray hair from wall to wall. I thought it would be too racy for them at times, but they loved it. After the show, we were accosted by a couple married for 50 years , and they said everything we did on stage, they had been through.”

From the company that pioneered SCTV and its long list of names (John Candy, Bill Murray, Shelley Long), the Second City began shaping “Sex and the Second City” two years ago and the first national tour has been at large since early January.”We were very excited to work on a project about relationships,” Kligerman said. “We certainly know that everyone has one, on whatever level. We’ve seen a variety of other theater performances about relationships and the complications they bring, and we wanted to take a stab at our own.Kligerman said “Sex and the Second City” was created in the vein of “I love you. You’re perfect. Now change.” While maintaining a steady plot involving the four characters “Sex and the Second City” intermixes musical numbers from several Second City productions. “We want to give everybody a good laugh,” Kligerman said. “Anybody who was fighting with their partner at dinner, we want them to make up by the second show. We want couples to laugh away their issues in a great evening of entertainment.”

What: Musical comedy theater performanceWhen: 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, 7:30 p.m. SundayWhere: Vilar Center of the Arts in Beaver CreekInformation: Tickets are $50 and are available at the box office or by calling 888-920-2787Vail, Colorado

Staff Writer Shauna Farnell can be reached at 949-0555, ext.14632, or sfarnell@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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