401(k) in the Dumpster?
W-2s and 1099s piling up in the mailbox, a grim reminder of looming tax time?
Heater conk out just as the cold front arrived?
This may be the perfect time for two hours of preposterous hilarity like My Husband's Wild Desires Almost Drove Me Mad, playing weekends through Feb. 1 at Richey Suncoast Theatre.
There's no complicated plot, no deep meaning, no complex characters — just one belly laugh after another, as the situation grows more and more absurd.
Director Bob Reece did a superb job casting the show and then keeping his five players in control just enough to jell on cue.
The plot concerns a middle-aged couple, Olivia and Charles Griffin. Their kids are off at college, their finances in fine order, their place in society solid. But their marriage bed is a dud.
So they follow the advice of a sex guru on how to spice it up by acting out their craziest fantasies. For Charles (Jim Poe), that's a certain type of living in the closet (to give away more would spoil the fun). For Olivia (Linda Luckenbach), it means concocting elaborate play-acting, dressed in her favorite teddy, brushing her imaginary long, curling tresses and making up dialogue for her sex dramas.
The Griffins rope in two unwilling accomplices, the inept Burglar (Bob Marcela) and the fearful building superintendent Connelly (Bill Schommer). Burglar doesn't want a tryst with Mrs. Griffin; he wants her jewels and furs. Connelly only wants to preserve his employment and avoid legal action.
Farce such as this needs to be handled with delicacy, or it can become obnoxious, and Reece's cast handles it just fine.
The tone is set by Luckenbach's Olivia, who has the manners and mannerisms of a genuine socialite to the manor born. This Olivia calmly instructs her many potential sex partners with the cordiality of a society doyenne seating her dinner guests in the family banquet hall.
Such noble demeanor puts into bold relief the crass antics of her three fellow cavorters, smoothing a patina of class over their boorish ways.
Poe's Charles is the most outrageous — both in his costume and his buffoonery — and gets the biggest laughs. Schommer's befuddled Connelly, the building super, is the most sympathetic, only partly to blame for his involvement in the Griffins' zany plotting.
Marcel's Burglar is a delight, with facial expressions and physical humor that goes to the top but never over.
The icing on the cake is Stella Sylvester's Louise, Olivia's seemingly meek sister, whose philandering husband turns her into a tiny tiger.
My Husband's Wild Desires is filled with sight gags, one-liners, double entendres, triple entendres and plain ol' blatant sex talk.
It's best suited for grownups, not because it's too racy, but because grownups are more likely to get and enjoy the jokes.