Wednesday May 23 3:14 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

“SEX WITH STRANGERS” - A REVIEW BY BOB RUBIN

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As the Wifi in the building is down, they actually end up talking to each other (the way it used to be). Though she is repulsed by his subject matter, she is fascinated by his success and ability to reach large numbers on his blog. Olivia is only 12 years older than Ethan, but their understanding of the day’s internet technology is generations apart. This lightened some of the tense moments. He lures her into the bedroom, again and again with his charm and flattery.

Though she is quite attracted to him, Olivia refuses to allow Ethan to read her just completed novel. He
sneaks it away from her, reads it, confesses that he has read it, and then tries to win her over by telling her how good it is! At first she is furious but again, Ethan’s flattery and charm diffuse her anger. He tries to convince her to allow him to publish it on the internet but she prefers to submit it to a large publishing house, in the conventional way. He then has to leave town on business.

They meet again at the same retreat some time later and Olivia tells Ethan she has landed a deal
with this major publisher. He tries again to convince her to allow him to publish it on the internet.
When she refuses, he sneaks a copy of it, and does it anyway. This leads to a fast and furious ending
which you need to experience for yourself.

I was amazed how just two actors and, basically, one set (they moved the couch and added a desk in a
2nd scene) could hold your attention for two hours. The reason…writer Laura Eason’s dialog is masterful
and the actors deliver it, masterfully! The dramatic lights and sound also help punctuate the various
moods.

Never mind that Olivia’s character is somewhat compromised when we discover some larceny in her
heart, when she seems happy that Ethan’s theft of her book did not torpedo her publishing deal, and
instead got her notoriety and exploding sales. Never mind that Ethan’s character seemed to come
around at the end when he announced that he had written a ‘real’ book and was a changed man.
I thought that Eason has a great story and makes you use your imagination in the last scene when Ethan
leaves and invites Olivia to make a choice to come meet him and live happily ever after. And, Olivia
stands there at the door with purse in hand deciding what to do next.

If she goes to meet that guy and buys into the ‘new Ethan’, I’ll kill her. Take off your coat and forget
that man! Whoops, I just got a little carried away. You make the call on the ending!

“Sex with Strangers” runs through March 4th at Citadel Theatre, 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. Parking is free. Running time is 2 hours with an intermission. Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 pm; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; and Sundays at 3 pm. There will be a special performance on Wednesday, February 21st at 11 am. Tickets range from $37.50-$40. FYI 847.735.8554 or www.CitadelTheatre.org.