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10 Naked Men

I'm really not comfortable having sex with people I know.

There's a bit of fun fluffing... I mean fluff... happening at the Warehouse Theatre. It's 10 Naked Men -- a comedy about Hollywood, hustlers and the ego mechanics of acting. While it won't be winning any acting awards, it is a campy diversion and an enjoyable evening out during Pride month.

Written by Ronnie Larsen (creator of Making Porn) the show is a comedic send up of his own personal experiences while living in Los Angeles. The story follows Robert and Kenny, two college friends setting out to live their dreams in West Hollywood. Kenny grew up in Orange County and is only too happy to jump into a banking job so he can be in the 'hood. Robert, meanwhile, has recently moved from Colorado with dreams of fame and fortune as an actor. Unfortunately, he is a bit too pasty white, a bit too out of shape and a bit too thin skinned for the shark pool that is the Entertainment Industry. Along the way the two meet hustlers, agents and a variety of sexual appetites that range from K-9 to water sports.

With a simple set that highlights glossy black boxes and palm trees on a shiny black and white checkerboard floor, the production immediately gives an aura of Southern California. LA's sunny skies are depicted across Japanese screens of azure blue with fluffy clouds passing over brown mountains. The occasionally all red or blue lighting adds an interesting sheen to the set which hits the mood of each scene quite nicely. In addition the production adds some fun touches like Barbie's pink sports car -- complete with the blonde girl herself -- traveling across the stage to portray Roberts' journey to La La Land.

The marquee name in this production is porn star Tag Adams, who also happens to be a local Washington native. He plays the role of wanna-be actor Richard, a young man who has absolutely no talent and seemingly even less intelligence. Richard's claim to fame is that he was in the film A Few Good Men and "...if you freeze the last frame, you can see me throwing my hat in the air." But what he lacks in acting ability he makes up for in body and so he has began hustling -- or escorting in the preferred vernacular -- to pay the bills and put food on the table.

Highlights in the cast include Kevin Tierney as the irrepressible Robert whose attempts to hire a hustler are quite funny. Best friend Kenny is played with a bit of Valley Girl glee by Jeremy C. Jarvis. Jimmy Lee as Jim Tucker is quite something in his red jock strap and collar and when he brings out the dog dish... well, Alpo has a potentially untapped market. Ralph Pickup as The Ex-Con is quite believable in both his role as Tough Guy and as a man who simply wants to cuddle and kiss. The rest of the cast includes Terrance Wrench, Jerry Lee Van Hook, Julian Teixeira, C. Whitney Mandel, James Ellison and Mark Balahadia.

If you saw Larsen's Making Porn and enjoyed it, then chances are you will enjoy 10 Naked Men. It has a similar feel and comedic wit flowing through it. So be forewarned, it ain't profound, it ain't high art, and heck, some of the acting isn't even all that great. But it is a bit of silly fun and all the men do indeed strip down and show off their...ahem...acting abilities.

Enjoy and Happy Pride!

10 Naked Men
Written and Directed by Ronnie Larsen
with Tag Adams, Mark Balahadia, James Ellison, Jeremy C. Jarvis, Jimmy Lee, C. Whitney Mandel, Ralph Pickup, Kevin Tierney, Julian Teixeira, Jerry Lee Van Hook and Terrance Wrench
Lighting and Sound Designer: Matthew Storck
Running Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes with no intermission
Warehouse Theatre, 1019 7th Street NW
Telephone: (800) 965-4827
WED - FRI @ 8, SAT - SUN @ 7, SAT @ 10; $25-$35
Opening 05/19/05, closing 06/12/05
Reviewed by Rich See based on 06/05/05 performance
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