Excerpts of Reviews for THREESOME

Excerpt from Broadwayworld.com review:

-a342e6d6b8ac0af2Threesome is one of the most difficult plays I’ve ever had to review, and as I’m sitting at my desk typing this I honestly have no idea what on earth to tell you about it. It’s a thoughtful script about Arab-American relations, a wacky comedy about a couple who invite another man into their sex life, and a dry look at how men and women view each other. And while each of these things is interesting, they make for very strange bedfellows…as do the three characters in the play.

Normally I object strongly to nudity in theater (and in film); it’s too literal, too distracting, and most people find themselves thinking about the actors instead of the characters – how attractive they are, what it must be like being naked on stage (and in rehearsal), whether they would have the courage to do such a thing, etc. Yet in Threesome I wasn’t bothered by it. First of all, the play has been carefully advertised (and with a title like Threesome, you’re fairly well forewarned), and most of the nudity is played for laughs in the first act. However, once two of the actors disrobe, you’ll find yourself waiting and wondering when the third will join in, and that may prove distracting. Or not. Perhaps you’re a more discerning patron than me.

The performances, under the circumstances, are quite good. Alia Attallah is remarkable as Laila, sexy, funny, spirited, and wise, with devastating comic timing, and even when the script takes the humor out of her hands, she remains intriguing until the very end of the play. Dominic Rains as Rashid has the least interesting of the characters, but he finds a way to make the man endearing even as he’s being a jerk. Quinn Franzen runs the gamut as Doug, goofy and caricatured at the beginning, then gradually revealing a deeper heart, and then putting a colder facade on top of that; he remains relaxed and easygoing throughout, even as he delivers that second-act monologue that would trip up a lesser talent.

Excerpt from Willamette Week:

It only takes about 10 minutes for the first penis to appear. But that’s hardly the most shocking moment in Threesome, a richly scripted world-premiere production by Seattle playwright Yussef El Guindi. The play’s moods and mishaps prove far more bracing than anything that could be whipped out of one’s pants.

Couple Rashid (Dominic Rains) and Leila (Alia Attallah) make up two-thirds of the threesome. Both are Egyptian-American artists—he a photographer, she a writer. They’ve invited over their acquaintance, Doug (Quinn Franzen), for a night of horizon-broadening fun.

But instead of becoming a sexual playground, the couple’s spartan bedroom plays host to a mess of neuroses. Before they’ve even finished their pre-sex cigarettes, Rashid and Leila are already driving each other nuts. The argument snowballs: Men are just as damaged by gender expectations as women, insists Rashid.

As flesh is gradually revealed, so are secrets about the couple’s history that suggest this night might not be the lighthearted romp it would at first seem. Eventually, they wonder whether they even want to “do this” at all.

SEE IT: Threesome is at the Gerding Theater, 128 NW 11th Ave., 445-3700. 7:30 pm Tuesdays-Sundays (except Feb. 8, 22 and 24 and March 3 and 8); 2 pm select Saturdays-Sundays; noon select Thursdays. Through March 8. $20-$55.

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