While not entirely unpredictable, the Gateway Theatre production of Michelle Riml’s Sexy Laundry is a fun romantic comedy that helps remind us that perhaps what we have is sometimes enough.
Armed with a copy of “Sex For Dummies”, Alice convinces husband Henry (Gerry Mackay) to a swanky new Vancouver hotel to try out some of the book’s suggested activities. Problem is, both are so comfortable in their every day life together that after 25 years of marriage they find it difficult to let loose and open up to their true feelings; the sex fantasy exercise falls flat when Henry’s includes the perfect family that leaves him alone to enjoy CNN and the blindfold exercise ends in yet another disaster as Alice can’t understand how Henry could possibly be attracted to her after “letting herself go”.
The situations Riml serves up are nothing new, whipping us back and forth between the serious and the funny in true romcom style. Fortunately with Michael and Mackay giving their all, they manage to breathe life into these generic symbols of long-term married life. When Alice suggests that it might be time to call it quits and storms into the bathroom, we know she will be back, but when she does, Michael and Mackay give us a couple of the funniest scenes as they head towards their inevitable reconciliation.
Chris Macdonald’s set is just the right amount of pretentious high-end hotel although, given how shaky the walls and doors were, I would think anyone in the next room would not have a need for HBO that night.
Along with finding my own sexy laundry moment as I left the theatre last night (you’ll have to see the play to understand the meaning of the title), I couldn’t help but also wonder how this show might translate to a same-sex couple. One thing is for sure, Alice’s (or would that be Alex’s) costume in act two could take things to a whole different level.
Gateway Theatre, Richmond
10 – 27 November 2010