Aidan's Bed

Local Arts Reviews

Aidan's Bed:Light Confession

Austin Playhouse at Penn Field, through Dec. 14

Running Time: 2 hrs, 10 min

Naughty Austin Productions brings its good-natured mischief to a new venue, Austin Playhouse at Penn Field. While each of the seven bedroom dialogues that tell Aidan's story relates to a deadly sin, the play is harmless at worst, titillating at best.

Blake Yelavich and Kirk Addison have built a giant wheel of fortune for their stage, with black and red roulette triangles bearing the names of each sin/scene. This touch spins the imagination without blurring the realism of the set. Scarred sculptor Aidan, played with passion by Jode Lanclos, gets ready for bed with his lover Barrett, hammed up pleasantly by Paul Parkinson, when he realizes that his lover is an accountant who never does anything impulsively except fold other people's T-shirts. Apparently the Catholic church used to consider boredom a deadly sin (the same people who invented Catholic mass?), so Aidan escapes into the New York night on a determined search for rejuvenation that will take him from an affair with a soap star through his childhood scars to a cure in the plastic surgeon's chair.

Writer and director Yelavich hits a few big laughs with his keen sense of the absurd. Rehearsal of a soap opera love scene between camp as Christmas Clint (Jefferson Lykins) and ambitious Deirdre (Beth Burroughs) reveals how much funnier soaps have become since Tootsie. Clint reassures Deirdre about her performance: "Folks will think you've had fake sex all your life." For his part, he worries that his stint as Elijah Jones in Union City Memorial Hospital will never end. A nosedive down an elevator shaft and a shredding by (two) helicopter blades interrupted his Elijah life only briefly. "I've had a better return ratio than Jesus Christ," he whines.

Adult-film star Chris Steele plays Evan, a plastic surgeon with the lifestyle of an adult film star. Steele's comic scene with the hysterical accountant works, but his melodramatic lines sound a little soapy.

Given his belief that hell is commitment to other people, the audience expects Aidan to push people away. That everyone keeps coming back seems hard to believe.

Yelavich strings together harsh abuse and absurd situations in his tight subversion of melodrama. Aidan's Bed at times seems to be made from plastic, but its creator has the mold for something more permanent.

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Aidan's Bed, Naughty Austin Productions, Austin Playhouse at Penn Field, Blake Yelavich, Kirk Addison, Jefferson Lykins, Beth Burroughs, Chris Steele

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