A bawdy comedy about sex might not be the place you would expect to find thoughts on communication, self-knowledge, and personal identity. Yet those themes are just what playwright Peter Ackerman explores in his nutty yet insightful bedroom farce at the Keegan Theatre, Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight.
The entire cast is superb. [Michael] Innocenti is priceless as Ben, the long-suffering man who neglects to compliment his girlfriend because everyone else does. [Caroline] Wolfson simply lights up the difficult part of Nancy. She is at once outrageous and understandable as she strives to comprehend why saying forbidden things is so exciting to her.
Director Colin Smith keeps the play moving at the dizzy pace required to make the constant barrage of jokes and comments fly together into a slurry of silliness.”
[Allison] Corke is appealing as Grace, a character who craves only sex, while [Peter] Finnegan is delightful as the hit man who bakes bread and has aspirations to become refined. The virile young therapist Mark, who prefers old men to young, is portrayed excellently by [Kevin] Hasser. [Timothy] Lynch is very funny as the aging, quirky Mr. Abramson.
The set, by Innocenti, creates a perfect home for a show focused on carnal desire. Ben’s sofa bed is in the center of the stage. On two high platforms on either side of the stage are double beds, one for Grace’s bedroom and one for Mark’s.
The lighting design, by Allan Sean Weeks, effectively highlights those bedrooms one by one until the end, where all six characters are connected in the three-way phone call and the stage is bathed in light.