Theatre review: Unstuck is sexy fun but not life-changing

As a metaphor for embracing and living life to its fullest, Unstuck succeeds in spades.  As a treatise on monogamy, gay or otherwise, it fails to live up to its potential.

Unstuck tells the story of Matt and Tim who are celebrating their tenth anniversary.  Matt’s idea of a gift comes neatly packaged in a Cartier box, but Tim thinks the duo needs something a little more exciting to get them out of their individual and common ruts and invites the young Jared to their bed.  Beyond the sex though (“why so serious, it’s just fucking” Jared declares at the outset), the interloper soon finds himself drawn deeper into Matt and Tim’s relationship.

Set against the backdrop of a nameless same-sex marriage protest (I’m still not quite sure if it was pro- or anti-marriage), Tsitsias attempts to ask larger questions than ones of simple equality.  But rather than taking a stand, Tsitsias decides to take an unsatisfying and ambiguous route by refusing to answer his own questions around monogamy and ideas of how we are programmed to think a certain way about relationships.  In the end, Tsitsias’ refusal to take sides in the monogamy debate results in a simple anticipation of glimpsing a little bit of cock (spoiler: no one goes the full monty).

Ari Solomon, Sean Harris Oliver and Kevin Kraussler in Evan Tsitsias' Unstuck.
Ari Solomon, Sean Harris Oliver and Kevin Kraussler in Evan Tsitsias’ Unstuck.

Despite that refusal, Tsitsias does give us an entertaining 65 minutes, led by the unstoppable energy that Sean Harris Oliver brings to Jared.  The perfect party boy (with spot-on wardrobe coordination from Christopher David Gauthier), he comes in drinking a Red Bull whose effect on his energy is about as long-lasting as we are led to believe his erection might be.  His brash confidence is only slightly dented by the morning and he exudes a believable resilience that you know he’ll easily pick himself up and be ready for that next “moment”.  Kevin Krassler and Ari Solomon are believable as the couple, but ultimately fail to match the intensity that Oliver brings.  While Oliver could be faulted here for potentially stealing the show, the evening would have been far less enjoyable if they had all been reduced to the same common denominator.

Unlike last year’s Blowing Whistles which had enough going for it above the waist in its own exploration of monogamy, with Unstuck I found myself waiting for what was going to happen below.  Tsitsias may not have changed my mind about monogamy, but it was still sexy fun.

3 1/2 of 5 Stars Unstuck

By Evan Tsitsias. Directed by Michael Dobbin.  A Screaming Weenie Productions presenattion in association with meta.for Theatre.  On stage at the PAL Theatre through March 23, 2013.  Visit http://screamingweenie.com for tickets and information.

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