Encore Michigan

‘Nooner’ explores infidelity with laughs at Wilde Theatre

Review February 06, 2023 Julie Linderleaf

BRIGHTON, MI–What would you do if your secret crush finally smiles at you? What would you do if your secret crush asks you out to lunch? But what if you were already married?  What would you do?

Lynn Wilde Concannon, owner of A Wilde Theatre in Brighton, Michigan is opening her fourth season with Nooner by Michigan playwright Kim Carney, a play that takes a humorous look into the serious dilemma of infidelity. 

The stage is designed as a 4 star hotel room in New York City.  The work of set builder Al Pelky, painter Susie Lindsey and prop designer Wilde-Concannon is admirable, using every inch of the small stage. 

Frank (Kevin Rogers) and Joyce (Sarah Burcon) awkwardly enter the hotel room. It’s immediately noticed that both are uncomfortable with the situation.  Both are married to other people, but admit, not happily married. Through the awkwardness of a “will they or won’t they” plot, it’s revealed that Kevin and Joyce work in the same building and for the past three years and have secretly lusted after each other.

Over elevator chit chat and small talk, Kevin finally decided to ask Joyce out for lunch at a upscale hotel restaurant. Joyce admits that while excited about the lunch, she had also always had a secret desire to live out a moment like something she had read in a book: where the lovers continue their lunch in an extra delicious way upstairs in a hotel room. Joyce is reluctant to advance this extramarital affair, though at he same time she admits to renting the room, and buying black lace Frederick’s of Hollywood lingerie and a purse-load of condoms. All in a drunken moment, of course. 

The opening scene is like the christmas song, “Baby it’s cold outside,” where both are reluctant to stay or go. They discuss their unhappy spouses, their kids, and how they met. After finally deciding to not go through with the affair, they both decide that the fancy underwear needs to be just seen, and the satin sheets needed to be just felt upon naked skin. Both Kevin and Joyce can’t resist being in a bed that close to each other and sparks fly! But this isn’t just a show with two characters! 

Karma seems to hit this couple with a barrage of other characters that come and go from this hotel room in extremely creative ways, never questioning why the lock doesn’t keep anyone out! 

The couple end up undressed and wrapped toga-like in the hotel bed sheets. They try a multitude of ways to get clothes: my favorite involved an uncredited role of Helga the maid, played by Jeannine Thompson. The maid is definitely not going to keep secrets for them at any cost! So she brings the hotel manager (Mike Olsem) into the situation.

Carney takes the serious topic of cheating and makes light of it with a lot of laughter, jokes, and raucous bed play. The play is uncomfortably funny. Cheating is never supposed to be funny, but this play takes an uncomfortable topic and makes it laugh-worthy. You have to hand it to Kevin and Sarah though. They spend most of the play half naked without going all the way.

Week of 7/15/2024

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