4PLAY: SEX IN A SERIES comes to Los Angeles from successful productions in New York and Chicago. Opening on Valentine’s Day at the Actors Company, 4PLAY weaves stories of love, heterosexual and homosexual, as the actors weave through the audience (standing at high bar tables) in an attempt to break down the barrier between play and viewers. New York City’s trip. Theater ensemble kicks off its move to Los Angeles with its hit production. trip. has developed a reputation for a highly realistic style, according to founder and artistic director Graham Brown: “…the action takes place in the audience…the show is constantly evolving and adapting itself to its surroundings.”
4PLAY was developed in collaboration, with Graham Brown (who also plays a leading role) expanding on an original idea, together with Nathan Faudree and Lisa Roth. To cite Brown, Faudree would write the males; Roth would write the females; and Brown would write “everything else.” The result is a play which explores the striking similarities between loving couples – despite their differences. One couple is gay; another is lesbian; and a third is heterosexual. These differences will fade as the tale progresses. Each of the involved parties is looking for true love, regardless of sexual identity. And each runs into similar problems which plague most relationships, regardless of how the coupling is defined.
To add to the blending of boundaries, 4PLAY also mixes reality and fantasy by creating a play within a play. Characters may be part of an acting company – but also part of the couples examined. To lighten the serious subject matter, humor has been injected into the piece. 4PLAY is an amusing look at developing relationships which clearly proves very funny to the audience scattered among the actors.
4PLAY is introduced by a Cole Porter tune, “Just One of Those Things,” which will prove prophetic as the story progresses. The “stage” is the open space in which several high bar tables are set. The very large group of actors appears and disappears, sometimes simply standing and watching as others deliver their lines. 4PLAY is an experimental production which will please some and may prove overly experimental to others – particularly those who long for a seat after a day of hard work. The word is that the company may provide some bar stools in future. In the meantime, low benches dotting the walls provide some respite to aching toes – although they also make it difficult to hear and see the actors as they roam through groups of audience members – and sometimes block the view themselves.
4PLAY runs through March 17, 2018, with performances at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. trip. @ The Actors Company is located at 916 A North Formosa Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Tickets are $25. For information and reservations, call 800-838-3006 or go online.