Romance, Passion and Beyond. As one of the four plays featured in National Pastime Theatre’s current Naked July Festival, “Eros” is certainly the most suggestive. Sensuality and passion are vividly brought to the forefront in Shifra Werch’s steamy play that uses a collection of sexy scenes made famous by film, sticky-hot monologues and visual art in order to experiment with the boundaries of eroticism.
The tone of “Eros” is immediately set with its provocative opening that has the cast members, scantily clad in black underwear, lustfully longing for each other in a heated display of passion. The audience is then taken on a journey through a handful of erotically charged scenes inspired from Romeo and Juliet, Brokeback Mountain and The Vampire Chronicles, separated by racy slideshows and intriguing pieces such as DeDe Deylynn’s “When I Fuck You”, sexily performed by Carolina Granger.
Curator, Shifra Werch, based on her research in which she asked several people what turned them on, chose each piece used in “Eros”. Werch not only did a fantastic job in choosing the material, but she also did well in assembling a shining cast that includes Reggie Robinson Jr., who hits a homerun with his performance of “Song of Solomon”, along with Taylor H. Entwistle and Nicolas Gamboa who successfully merge hot and funny in “Yum”. Gina Marie Koontz and Jason Gorczyca round out the outstanding cast that works so well together and continuously displays a strong comfort despite the changing of sexual partners from scene to scene.
In line with the Naked July Festival, “Eros” contains plenty of nudity to further convey its message and it is done with great direction - beautifully and tastefully.
“Eros” is stimulating from beginning to end and is a show that will most likely bring you back to see it again. The National Pastime Theatre is located at 4139 N. Broadway in Chicago and tickets are just $20. Playing through August 1st, “Eros” is performed Thursdays at 10pm and Sundays at 8pm. For more information, visit www.npt2.com.
Be sure to come early for each Naked July show where you will be treated to the romantically soulful piano playing of Zoya Fuchs.
*Pictured above are Taylor H. Entwistle and Reggie Robinson Jr. in "Eros"