Lesbian Bathhouse: A Decidedly Impure Comedy | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Lesbian Bathhouse: A Decidedly Impure Comedy


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Lesbian Bathhouse: A Decidedly Impure Comedy, Bailiwick Repertory.

Rob LaSalle, a maker of skin movies, has temporarily gone artsy and, much to the chagrin of his skeptical assistant, is developing a play entitled Lesbian Bathhouse. At the auditions naive Grace and savvy Caroline meet, and love finally triumphs when Grace renounces the phonies of Los Angeles and follows her heart to that best of all possible worlds, San Francisco.

Helen Eisenbach's Lesbian Bathhouse: A Decidedly Impure Comedy satirizes X-rated flicks; the auditions involve acting out standard porn scenarios--the TV repairman and the housewife, the cop and the fugitive--without adjustment for sexual equipment. It also satirizes Hollywood casting practices, lesbian courting customs, and assorted west-coast types. But given the dainty direction of Shifra Werch it never becomes heavy-handed or mean-spirited, and the cast are never anything but likable, even the chic casting agent, hilariously portrayed by Amelia Barrett. Sexy but never sweaty, playful but never prurient, this is a delightful springtime romp after a long winter of sex-equals-death gloom.

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