Margy LaMont [Andrea Hutchman] is the best known most successful madam of the sex trade in Montreal, Canada. One of her best customers, a British Naval Officer, is in love with her and wants her to marry him. Then she meets Jimmy Stanton [Ryan Philips] who also instantly falls in love with her and who also has the big advantage of being heir to a huge estate. But what can she do?
Her opinion of men in general has been shaped by many years in the sex business, meaning she holds men in very low regard and also the fact that she knows that she will never be able to erase her past and may not even want to.
By the end of act one the story has shifted to a Caribbean island and the audience is treated to one of the very best scenes of the entire show, a musical and dance performance with a sensational performance from the entire cast.
As the story continues to develop a lot of people who have known Margy professionally in Montreal are shocked when they meet her again either in the Caribbean or later in a plush mansion.
In every aspect the show is quite intentionally exaggerated. For example, the behaviors of the house service staff are in the extreme. Likewise, so is the behavior of a clearly corrupt cop as well as other characters. The point is to emphasize the truly comedic aspects of the show. SEX debuted on Broadway in 1926. It was written, produced and directed by Mae West, who was well known not only for her writing and acting but also for her true enthusiasm for sex. While SEX was a box office hit, Mae West was arrested and convicted for obscenity and spent eight days in jail.
I am confident that neither Director Sirena Irwin nor Producers Jocelyn O’Keefe and Kevin Comartin will be put in jail for this production of SEX, but yes the show definitely has its bawdy moments and clearly is intended for an adult audience. And it falls far short of any reasonable understanding of the word “obscene.” It is genuinely funny, even hilarious. Yet it does also stimulate deeper thought.
Driving home from the show my friend and neighbor and TV actor [Shameless, et.al.] Victor Onuigbo and I vigorously discussed SEX and the commercial form of sex, prostitution. One question was can prostitutes ever stop and return to “normal” society? I believe not, based on having met thousands of prostitutes mainly as a very young Marine serving in Asia. But then Victor raised the question of societal hypocrisy and why are women scorned but not the men? Great question and one at the very least alluded to in the play SEX.
But while the show does raise some very significant questions about our society, the show’s purpose is primarily to entertain with abundant comedy and that it does and does well.
SEX is on the Main Stage at the Hudson Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, California 90038 now through June 17th, 2018. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Ticketing is available online at: https://dime.io/events/buzzworks-sex or at the Hudson box office.
Enjoy the SEX but do leave the children at home.
•••• •••• ••••• •••• ••••
Also check out: www.ronirwin.net.
Photos by Rick Hutchman
Top photo: Andrea Hutchman, Wayne Wilkerson and Susan Edwards Martin
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.