Bowie Community Theatre’s Love, Sex and the I.R.S.
With Love, Sex and the I.R.S., Bowie Community Theatre promises “a wild farce with twists of fate, sight gags, mistaken identities and hilarious comic lines.”
That’s accurate if you get your laughs from chauvinistic stereotypes, drunkenness and cross-dressing. Judging from audience reaction, Bowie Community Theatre does it darn well.
This tortuous comedy of errors naïve takes us to New York City in 1985. There androgynously named Leslie (Marc Pardee) and Jon (Pat Reynolds), longtime best friends and roommates, live in a time capsule. Their apartment still bears the hallmarks of college decorating, and landlady Ms Jansen (Sarah Curtis) forbids cohabitation between unmarried couples.
Leslie’s dallying with Jon’s fiancée Kate (Shenna Ross) would be sufficient conflict for a plot. Enter Floyd Spinner of the IRS (Greg Garcia) come to investigate the shady joint tax return naming Leslie as Jon’s wife.
Kate colludes to disguise Leslie as a woman, and the game of deception gets epic as Jansen hunts the woman she suspects has taken up residence, Jon liquors up Floyd, Leslie hides out from his other girlfriend, Connie (Allison Hawley), and Jon’s mother, Vivian (Joanne Bauer), arrives unannounced from Chicago to find that her son’s roommate looks nothing like the man she expected.
Leslie in drag is what Floyd calls a real “woof.”
Distraught Vivian hires homeless Justice of the Peace Arnold Grunion (Greg Anderson) to unite Jon and Leslie in a shotgun wedding. It’s ridiculous and protracted longer than sanity can support, with execution ranging from primo to passable by a menagerie of characters you won’t soon forget.
Costumes are appropriately awful, and the soundtrack rife with romantic hits of the 1980s.
This escapist comedy will make your problems seem insignificant by comparison. But the dizzying pace may leave your head spinning.
Love, Sex and the I.R.S. by Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore. Director and set designer: Terry Averill. Lights: Garrett Hyde. Sound: Averill, Pat Reynolds and Walter Kleinfelder. Costumes: Jane Lecher and Scott Beadle.
Playing thru July 28 FSa at 8pm at Bowie Community Theatre, White Marsh Park: $17 w/discounts; rsvp: 301-809-3078; www.bctheatre.com.