“Skin Flick” another take on Norm Foster’s hit Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin   Apr. 27th ‘19

There is a character in the puppet musical “Avenue ‘Q’ “(Trekkie Monster) who suffixes every zinger piece of dialogue with “And Porn!”. The rhetorical device never gets boring. Same with Norm Foster’s situation comedy SKIN FLICK which we’ve seen more than a few times. The plot deals with a newly unemployed couple and their just-fired photo journalist deciding to make a ‘blue movie’ (porno) to make some quick cash. A singing (& stripping) greeting card girl, and the cameraman’s meek & ingenuous bookie round out the cast.
The ironic misconceptions and double entendres abound and are sure laughs even if they’re obvious and telegraphed.

SKIN FLICK’s Ashley & Greg, Megan, Swenor, & Fortman at rear

 The trick for the director and cast members are to emote the lines with a professional level of delivery and expression. All five actors have such an ability. Under John Thompson’s directorship, the BINBROOK LITTLE THEATRE team make the play work and the opening night audience didn’t need any assistance from the recorded laughter.
The married couple are Jason Swenor & Megan Paul. Their ‘Rollie’ and ‘Daphne’ are able to depict the comfortable relationship that comes with decades of life together. The ubiquitous old family in-jokes reverberate with all of us who’ve been married for a while (us -56 years). As well, the easy manipulating of, and with, one’s partners are perfectly portrayed on stage. Swenor’s ‘Rollie’ also acts a narrator with pithy asides to the audience including the oft-quoted bleeping out bits by the others of scatology. Doing so during dialogue is difficult and a chore but there were no slips, and the lighting effects that underscore Swenor’s asides were faultless.
The porn-star wannabes are real -life couple Ashley & Greg Brenzil. The chemistry between them is visceral and the on-stage intimacies are handled with aplomb. Greg’s Byron has his character’s ingenuousness and nerdy demeanor down so pat as to seem natural (spoiler alert- until the denouement). Ashley’s ‘Jill’ would almost own the show were it not for Brad Fortman whose Alex is the epitome of the single third wheel who’s every mannerism and zinger comments are delivered with aplomb and a straight face. He can do more with a bottle a beer than many community theatre actors can do with a stage full of props.
A few brief BLT physical observations. When the community Building next to the theatre also has an event — parking is an onerous trek, especially for those with a physical challenge; two, the ongoing construction along R.R. 56 not only reduces the speed limits substantially; the temporary traffic lights can cause a 90-second or more delay. Therefore, ignore the ETA that your GPS may show; leave a fair bit of extra time so you do not need to be seated by an usher’s flashlight.

SKIN FLICK will be at the Binbrook Theatre until May 11th.

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