Other Theatre Company THREESOME Review – Inviting a Third to Bed

The Other Theatre Company THREESOME
Suzan Faycury (Leila), Mike Tepeli (Doug) and Demetrios Troy (Rashid) Photo: Carin Silkaitis

Exploring different sexual fantasies with your romantic partner can be a fun or a daunting task. More often than not, the typical fantasy is a threesome, no? For one Egyptian-American couple, inviting a third party into their bedroom opens up a Pandora’s box of issues they didn’t see coming. THREESOME explores what can happen when a couple attempts to have a night of sexual fun and the complications that come with it.

Other Theatre Company’s Dive Into a Complicated Affair

As we arrive at the Greenhouse Theater’s upstairs space, we are greeted by a tastefully decorated bedroom - exposed brick wall with an art piece in the center, a nightstand and lamps, and a well-made bed with matching sheets and coverlet.

Leila and Rashid sit tensely in this bed, smoking electronic cigarettes, peering every so often at the bathroom door. They’re expecting someone, but we don’t know who. After moments of silence, they finally speak. The two pick up the discussion they were having beforehand about societal expectations of men versus women. It is clear this is a hot button topic for them. However, they don’t have time to finish arguing as the bathroom door opens and there stands their third party of this threesome, Doug.

After some attempts from Doug to get things started, it is clear the Leila and Rashid are not quite ready for this sexual experience. Things grow increasingly awkward as more and more conflicts between all three of the characters are revealed. Leila is publishing a book and met Doug through a publisher party. He’s going to be doing her book cover, even though Rashid, also a photographer, wanted that job. Feelings are hurt between all parties and we realize this might not be the most well-thought out threesome.

THREESOME takes a deep turn in the second act as we are brought to Doug’s studio where he and Leila are shooting her book’s cover. We had entered the theater thinking this was a play about three-way sex. We find ourselves in issues that range far beyond the bedroom per se.

The Other Theatre Company THREESOME
Suzan Faycury and Demetrios Troy Photo: Carin Silkaitis
The Other Theatre Company THREESOME
The Other Theatre Company THREESOME
The Other Theatre Company THREESOME
Suzan Faycury Photo: Carin Silkaitis

Tackling Cultural Divides

One of the best parts about THREESOME is how this couple deals with having a threesome while adding their cultural backgrounds to the mix. Playwright Yussef El Guindi touches on the clashing Eastern vs. Western cultures among others issues from sexism in society to harboring secrets in relationships.

As Leila and Rashid, played by Suzan Faycurry and Demetrios Troy respectively, touch on expectations of a man and woman in Arabic culture, it begs the question how does this Western sexual fantasy fit into the mix. These actors, though stiff in some moments, handle these issues deftly. In the second act, when they are arguing over whether or not Leila’s book should be published, we feel their anger and hurt as they struggle to reconcile.

Mike Tepeli, playing Doug, is most engaging. His attempts to start the threesome are hilarious as he cracks jokes and tries to lighten the mood. Tepeli plays Doug with natural ease - you’d think he’d been in these kind of situations all the time in his regular life! His character development is one that takes us by surprise as he transforms from just a guy in their bathroom, to a man with his own issues and thoughts or lack of them, who has no idea the damage he ends up causing. Absolutely fantastic!

THREESOME is much more than three people trying to have a sexual experience with each other. It becomes a dark look at how cultures clash and how people’s lives are more intertwined than they originally thought.

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Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.

 

When

Now through May 21
Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m.
Sundays at 3 p.m.

Where

The Greenhouse Theater
2257 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

 

Tickets

$30
Tickets are on sale now at the Other Theatre Company website

Photos

Carin Silkaitis

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