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‘Shyness’ is not a play for the timid

Lisa Dupuy

You could go see a major Hollywood action movie this weekend to get

your heart racing. But for a truly thrilling experience, try sitting

in an 800-square-foot room with half-naked men and women taking


drugs, shooting each other and having sex right at your feet.

The Alliance Repertory Company in Burbank has set out to

titillate, amuse and alarm the audience -- and they succeeded. But in

the end, the theatrics overshadow poignant self-realizations.


The story revolves around two painfully repressed male roommates,

Rodney and Stew. Their well-meaning friend, Fitzgerald, hires a

prostitute for the evening, setting off a series of funny, then

tragic, events.

Jeff Urquhart stands out as the heroin-addled Fitzgerald, whose

manic but lovable behavior is sorely missed after his departure

midway through the show. Rodney (Michael Cassady) and Stew (Adam

Legg) are caricatures of 30-year-old virgins but hilarious


nonetheless, especially when they attempt to ease awkward situations

with nervous chitchat and choice musical selections.

But it is Erin Underwood as Kylie, a prostitute, who owns the

stage. She takes it upon herself to educate these “man-children” in

the pleasures of the flesh with such honest life force that it’s

impossible to take your eyes off her. You can’t help but feel that

you know people like this.

That is until Blixa, Kylie’s female pimp, enters. Not only is her


character unbelievable, but also she ushers in a gun, an unnecessary

and formulaic way to excite the audience.

The artistic and music direction are just right, creating a

genuine artist-loft look and sound. The nudity, drugs and violence

may be gratuitous, but it sure makes for a fun Friday night.