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A CurtainUp Los Angeles Review
The Catholic Girl's Guide to Losing Your Virginity
Now living in New York, site of Sex and the City, she bemoans the fact that she has "neither the sex nor the clothes" of the ladies of that TV dramedy. And, what's more, on her upcoming birthday she will probably be the only 25-year old virgin in this or any other city. Thus begins Annie Hendy's earnest odyssey, based loosely on her own sex-challenged adventures, which she has thoughtfully documented in her play The Catholic Girl's Guide to Losing Your Virginity.
Hendy, playing the lead as a girl named Lizzy, records her frenzied search for a sex partner. Which isn't easy. The men she chases are either reluctant, for various reasons, or so uncontrollably libidinous that they put her off. The chase continues for about 90 minutes, without intermission or a change of pace. But oddly enough, this one-note tune is refreshingly entertaining. Hendy is charming and hilarious, and she has her insightful moments: acknowledging her fears, her loneliness, and her sense of failure.
The play, however, belongs to Cyrus Alexander, who turns in a performance that will take your breath away! Alexander plays all the men Lizzie encounters. There are a gazillion of them— from the local priest ("Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned"( to a narcissistic weight-lifter, to her best friend and confidant, Jeremy, to all the losers she meets at a speed-dating event. While Lizzie ruminates about love, Alexander changes costumes, accessories, hats, sweaters, and accents, dressing and undressing in a dark corner of the stage in time to reappear as the next potential partner.
As friend Jeremy, Alexander gets off some pretty funny lines. "Did you do the Jew?". . . "Go to H&R Block. Those guys never get laid!"
Hendy and Alexander spar in cliches but by the time Lizzie gets around to approaching Jeremy as a possible sex partner he's has fallen in love with somebody else, whom he eventually marries, with Lizzy serving es as "best man" at his wedding.
It's a delightful play, saved from being static by the fluid direction of Eli Gonda, whose last directorial stint was the current Broadway production of Cyrano de Bergerac. The lighting, by Ovation Award winner Michael Gilliam is also critical. While costume designer Cynthia Obsenares keeps the two principals in the same basic outfits most of the time, she transforms them with the addition of accessories. The design elements are facilitated by Tom Buderwitz's design for Lizzy's apartment, with itswall-to-wall shelving that held the various clothing accessories along with her girlish tchachkes.
The Catholic Girl's Guide to Losing Your Virginity premiered in Los Angeles in 2006. It then went on to Cincinnati (Hendy's home town), where it sold out for every performance. It has returned to Los Angeles for its current run at the Pico Playhouse (formerly the Century City Playhouse), a newly refurbished and extraordinarily comfortable little theater where it will run through March 1st.
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.
Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide