Filled with laughs, female bonding, interpersonal drama, and – yes – plenty of talk about women's sexuality, "Talking Sex on Sundays" is a solidly entertaining evening of musical theatre that celebrates women's friendship and empowerment.
On the first Sunday of every month, Margot and her lady pals always host a theme party. On the night seen in the show, she's decided to make it a sex-toy party. Her friends' varying atttitudes and approaches to the subject, and some unexpected developments in Margot's personal life, form the core of the show.
The focus is strictly on the six friends, plus Odessa, the party facilitator, who serves as their guide through the evening and gets things on track when bumps in the road arise. Male characters, in those brief moments when they're part of the action, are cleverly represented by conversational-sounding piano riffs.
Along the way there are plenty of tunes both funny and poignant - a highlight of the former is the rousing "G-Spot Tango". And there is plenty of hilarious euphemism and innuendo (like the "lady in the valley"), which fortunately shifts to more direct and frank discussions (and some helpful tips on locating that G-spot).
Act one establishes character while also laying the groundwork for developments to come later. June (Katrina Reynolds) is spiritual, conservative, sexually inexperienced and secretly fears being riduculed; Sissy (Irene Karas Loeper) is the widowed, sexually freewheeling one. But I wanted a little more specific sense of who they were, and how they were friends. And I wondered why the lesbian daughter (played by Sarah Vickruck of Poly Queer Love Ballad) is attending along with her mother, with whom she has an ongoing conflict.
Act two provides a dramatic development that brings some welcome forward momentum to the proceedings. There's also a perfect rationale for a costume change that reveals new layers to several characters in an extremely fun way.
By the end, we've reached a satisfying conclusion that manages to avoid pat sentimentality.
The cast is uniformly excellent. The show's set and lighting are very effective, with a wall of stacked boxes filled with books and lamps framing a cozy home interior. Choreography keeps the show visually intriguing and gives plenty of kick to the musical numbers.
All in all, "Talking Sex" offers a fun and satisfying night of theatre, and a model of honest, open discussion about sex that - even in our supposedly progressive times - is still very much needed.