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Bowie Community Theatre Love, Sex, and the IRS

By • Jul 17th, 2012 • Category: Reviews
Love, Sex, and the IRS
Bowie Community Theatre
Bowie Playhouse, Bowie, MD
Through July 28th
2:00 with intermission
$17/$12 Seniors and Students
Reviewed July 14th, 2012

Love, Sex, and the IRS was a delightfully humorous farce. Director Terry Averill maintained the upbeat tempo in the comedy by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore. Love, Sex, and the I.R.S. involves a young man (Jon) who attempts to save money on his taxes by saying his male roommate, Leslie, is Jon’s wife. After all, the name Leslie could be a girl’s name easily enough. And it’s not like the I.R.S. really ever checks into those things, right? WRONG! When Jon gets a call from IRS agent Floyd Spinner saying he’s coming over, panic ensues and his Leslie suddenly gets to enter the world of tight dresses, nylons and heels.

Jon Trachtman (Pat Reynolds) and male roommate Leslie Arthur (Marc Pardee) show a strong friendship and seem to almost be able to read each other’s minds. Jon has a way of talking people into doing almost anything as Leslie can attest. The rapport between the two is comfortable and energetic and the more upset the situation, the faster the laughter comes.

Jon’s fiancĂ©e Kate, played by Shenna Rose, makes for a positive balance between the angry Jon and the frantic Leslie, whom she has been seeing behind Jon’s back for about two weeks. Rose is a bit of a spitfire herself and is not afraid of telling Jon when she feels slighted. She manages to try to keep everything as calm as possible, but it becomes more of a challenge when the nosy landlady Ms. Jansen (Sarah Curtis) drops in and accuses Kate of being a “third roommate.” Curtis is a blustery woman who has fun stirring things up throughout the evening. The part of the landlady may have been scripted for a man, leading to a few lines that were funnier in the new context.

The most comedic moments come from Jon’s mother Vivian Trachtman (Joanne Bauer) and the I.R.S. Agent Floyd Spinner (Greg Garcia) who has some questionable motives of his own, especially where Kate is concerned. The over-the-top rantings of Mrs. Trachtman were hysterical to watch. The emotions increased yet again when Leslie’s girlfriend Connie (Allison Hawley) arrived. The physical comedy of Mr. Spinner was also quite entertaining. Even after Kate had knocked him out, Garcia managed to maintain a presence onstage although he was technically “unconscious.” It was not overbearing, just a subtle reminder that Spinner was not out of the picture.

The final cast member came courtesy of Vivian Trachtman who, in her desire to see a legal wedding take place, managed to find and bring back to Jon’s apartment one Arnold Grunion, Justice of the Peace. Played by Greg Anderson, his license may not have been real and he may have been a bit creepy, but it made mother Trachtman happy and in the end that’s what really counts, right? Of course right!

Set Designer and director Terry Averill made the apartment feel like an 80’s NY apartment. The costumes by Jane Lecher and Scott Beadle were bright, somewhat tacky, which fit the 80’s well. The show was smooth with perhaps a few minor line hiccups, but the pacing was strong and the dynamics were fully charged. Love, Sex, and the I.R.S. ran two hours with one intermission and was a fun, lighthearted comedy about what happens when you try to outwit the Internal Revenue Service.

Note From the Director

It’s 1985, I was 25 years old then, roughly the same age as our characters Jon and Leslie. Though I am not a musician, I listened to the music that these two would have played on their stereo throughout their high school, college and first years working professionally, in MY city as young musicians trying to make ends meet. The romantic and often self-absorbed songs I’ve chosen and which you will hear throughout the performance today, are songs that influenced me at the time, and that I feel would have an impact on Jon, Leslie, and Kate as they try to sort through their love triangle.

Enjoy the music and remember your own young adulthood struggling to ‘make it’ on your own prior to marriage. Laugh and cry with Leslie, Jon, and Kate as they struggle to resolve their relationship and as they try to sensibly get out of the mess Jon has created through his inept tax evasion. His plan COULD have worked if only for a few minor details… which I hope you will agree make for some absurd and riotous calamities.

I’ve had an unforgettable time with our cast and crew. I have to say thanks for all their patience and humor as we’ve explored the inter-relationships of the characters. And most importantly, thanks for becoming friends and family for me and for each other through our many nights together. That’s why I have gotten so involved at Bowie Community Theatre. We’re a family that is ever-growing and expanding…and it is great seeing the burgeoning theatre come of age, like our characters do…FINALLY!!

Terry Averill, Director


  • Kate Dennis: Shenna Ross
  • Leslie Arthur: Marc Pardee
  • Ms. Jansen: Sarah Curtis
  • Jon Trachtman: Pat Reynolds
  • Floyd Spinner: Greg Garcia
  • Vivian Trachtman: Joanne Bauer
  • Connie: Allison Hawley
  • Arnold Grunion: Greg Anderson

Production Staff

  • Producer: John Nunemaker
  • Director: Terry Averill
  • Stage Manager: Bernadette Arvidson
  • Backstage Crew: Miya kane
  • Lighting Designer: Garrett Hyde
  • Sound Designer: Terry Averill, Pat Reynolds, Walt Kleinfelder
  • Set Designer: Terry Averill
  • Set Construction Supervisor: Cindy Bentley
  • Set Construction Crew: Cindy Bentley, Fred Bentley, Greg Anderson, Michael Fawcett, Bryan Rouhan, Marc Pardee, Pat Reynolds, Cole Garcia, Greg Garcia, Allison Hawley, Sarah Curtis, Rae Wein, Ken Kienas, patrick Ready, Terry Averill, John Nunemaker, Joanne Bauer, Jack Degnan
  • Set Painting: Mixhael Fawcett, Allison Hawley, Sarah Curtis, Debbie Samek, Bernadette Arvidson, Estelle Miller
  • Set Dressing: Terry Averill, Debbie Samek, Cindy Bentley
  • Properties: John Nunemaker, Cindy Bentley, Bernadette Arvidson
  • Costumes: Jane Lecher, Scott Beadle
  • Hair and Makeup: Scott Beadle
  • Master Technician: Garrett Hyde
  • Theater Technicians: Al Chopey, Walter Kleinfelder, Pete Dursin
  • Photographer: Connie Carter
  • Videographer: Mike Dunlop/Dove Video
  • Graphic/Program Designer: Debbie Samek
  • Advertising/Publicity: Estelle Miller
  • Webmaster: John Nunemaker
  • House Manager: Cindy Bentley
  • Lobby Design: John Nunemaker, Debbie Samek

Disclaimer: Bowie Community Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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One Response »

  1. I corrected a misspelling in the Cast list, I apologize for the typo. That is the only change that has been made to this article since it was originally published. I can show you the database archive if you like.