Many laughs in the 50-something comedy

Sexy Laundry
Written by Michele Riml
Directed by David Nairn
Performed by Mary Long and Ralph Small
Victoria Playhouse Petrolia
June 9 to 27, 2009

Live! On Stage!
Review by Mary Alderson

Don’t mess with success – that must be the rule at Victoria Playhouse in Petrolia. Last summer, they had a very successful run of Separate Beds, a great little comedy about two couples in their fifties, played by Ralph Small and Mary Long. So in this year’s line-up Artistic Director Robert More included Sexy Laundry, another comedy about a couple in their fifties trying to rekindle the romance, and again Ralph Small and Mary Long play the leads. In keeping to that pattern, Victoria Playhouse has produced another winner.
Henry and Alice have been married for many years, living busy lives, raising a family and working on the careers. Alice decides that it’s time for romance, and books them into a fancy hotel. She brings along a copy of “Sex for Dummies”, that she has checked out of the library, and wants Henry to “share” in the activities suggested by the book. She tells Henry her very sexy fantasy about a handsome young waiter, and wants Henry to take his turn. But Henry’s fantasy is to come home to dinner and have his kids show him some respect. With all the pressure to be romantic, by the end of the first act, both are contemplating divorce, and planning how good life would be without the other. However, in the second act, Henry has some fun playing air guitar with his suitcase, and Alice attempts to whip him into shape. You will have to see the show to learn more about sexy laundry.
Ralph Small and Mary Long both have excellent comedic timing and keep the audience in gales of laughter, without going over the top. That’s the real quality of Sexy Laundry: while it’s laugh-out-loud funny, it is also a slice of life. Many of us who are fifty-something and in a long-time marriage can certainly identify with the story. Credit goes to Director David Nairn for keeping it real, while giving us plenty of humour. Nairn, the Artistic Director at Theatre Orangeville, will be remembered by Victoria Playhouse audiences as the hilarious frustrated screenwriter in last year’s production of The Long Weekend.
Sexy Laundry is a timely reminder for aging baby boomers: whenever we think our lives are dull, we just need to step back and take a look at how good we have it.
This comedy offers a pleasant reminder and a lot of laughs – a delightful way for busy baby boomers to take some time out and spend a June evening with their better halves.
Sexy Laundry continues with eight shows a week at Victoria Playhouse Petrolia until June 27. Call the box office at 1-800-717-7694 or (519) 882-1221 for tickets.

Mary Alderson offers her view of area theatre in this column on a regular basis. As well as being a fan of live theatre, she is a former journalist who is currently employed with the Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations.