Playwright Stanton Wood works in a simultaneously fantastic and Shavian mode in Big Thick Rod, a thought-provoking but never completely satisfying comedy about love, sex, and big business.
Rod centers on Elmer (Arthur Aulisi), a punctilious lawyer who can't understand why his new wife, Cricket (Tatiana Gomberg), isn't thrilled with the news that they're going to have sex just once a month. He suggests a hobby — maybe gardening. He's even willing to pay for a gardener named Jerome (Dan Ajl Kitrosser). But Cricket must put Jerome on contract. She does, and specifies it's for "bush tending." When Jerome can't meet her demands, Cricket turns to Big Thick Rod (Matt W. Cody), whom she uses for both her own needs and those of scores of others, embarking on a business venture of her own, much to her husband's distress.
Social commentary and sex farce blend uncomfortably in Wood's promising script, which, like a messy garden, simply needs more tending.
Presented by Rabbit Hole Ensemble as part of the New York International Fringe Festival
at the New School for Drama Theater, 151 Bank St., NYC.
Aug. 10-22. Remaining performances: Thu., Aug 14, 5:45 p.m.; Wed., Aug. 20, 9:30 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 22, 9:30 p.m.
(212) 279-4488 or (866) 468-7619 or www.fringenyc.org.