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Six or Rather Nine Degrees of Bacon

June 18, 2015

SA1Hollywood Fringe brings such pleasures as Sleeping Around. How many people have you slept with, and who have they slept with? This is addressed in a comical light, to great effect, in Sleeping Around.

The story follows nine people each at two moments in their lives, with one partner, then another. What the characters are blissfully unaware, and the audience joyously aware is that every character is connected by the cords of humanity, and sexuality.

The first scene opens with a nervous couple awkwardly dancing around with the idea of sleeping together. We quickly find out they aren’t a couple, rather they met on craigslist. The go through all the awkward motions of a pair who has yet to sleep together, finally settling on a way in which they can engage in some fun.SA4

As the next scene opens, the premise takes shape. The man from the first scene is attending dinner with yet another beautiful woman. This woman his wife, is he the same character, has he been unfaithful? Yes, and no. They are married, and he is indeed the same character from the previous scene. As the scene picks up speed the wife confronts her husband as to what he had been up to the previous night. After some cajoling, he concedes that he was with another woman. Where other wives would be upset, she seems eager to learn the details. It is here we learn this trist occurred with not only her approval, but her insistence. She is dying of cancer, and needs her husband to know he can move on after she is gone.

The story progresses in such manner throughout the night. Each new partner in turn takes another partner. In each scene we are given a half story, a half reason why these events transpire. Taken in whole, through all ten stories, the epic that is humanity is seen. Through wit and humour the makeup of our common existence takes shape on stage. Joys, anxiety, humour, discomfort, pleasure, sorrow, and tragedy, all are ties that bind us as one. All of these themes, and more are artfully presented on stage.

As much as the ensemble adds their talent to the story, so does the stage and set. Sleeping Around takes place on a stage stripped bare of most dressing. What is used is carefully placed to engage the mind, while not distracting from the story, and cast. In a way the minimal dressing serves to mirror the undercurrents of the story. We are only afforded a small glimpse into each of the lives presented; even then we are only shown half of each story at a time. The use of the set pieces to convey this undercurrent is not only well thought out, but executed as subtly as said undercurrent.

On stage we see a spouse grieving a dying love, a virgin coming into his own, a man coming to terms with his sexuality, and a fiancé grieving the end of her engagement, as well as much more. Each of these stories is handled with grace and care, and the needed humour given the difficulty of stories dealing with a most sensitive nature of the human condition. That sensitive nature happens to be one of our strongest bonds, our sexuality. We are born through the sensuous acts, and we connect to our closest life companions through it as well.

Sleeping Around shows us even moreso the strength of these bonds. We are connected to people we have never even met. Humanity is connecting throughout everything we do, day in and day out, and at night in our beds.

If you’re looking for a night of laughter, a touch of introspection into the nature of humanity, and our connections with it; Sleeping Around is for you. With any luck it will receive an extension into July after Hollywood Fringe is over.

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Sleeping Around (written by Cesar Abella, Directed by Wendy Gough Soroka) runs as part of Hollywood Fringe. Please visit http://hff15.org/2444 or www.theatreunleashed.org

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