As a follow-up to the serious-minded show Catch, Lambda Players changes gears and concludes its “Hot Summer Nights” series with a comedy called Party. The poster art features seven naked guys, each carrying a strategically held card with a letter. Together, they spell out the name of the play. You could consider this a nod to The Full Monty, the difference being that at this Party, all the guys are gay.They play a game that’s a cross between truth-or-dare and strip poker, drawing cards that prompt fact, fiction or fantasy. This leads to a variety of personal confessions and outrageous lies concerning sex, as well as several suggestive kisses and embraces, and, by the end, lots of shucked-off garments. The story involves an appealing array of varied characters, including Brian (played by Loki), who’s a skinny dancer; James (Steven Bourasa), a burly leather man; and Andy (Brandon Graves), wearing a baseball cap and too young to remember the female singers that several of the other men talk about.
There’s actually a lot of dialogue about musical theater and a bunch of Broadway Series posters in the set design, which makes Party all the more fun for someone who remembers the artists mentioned. The show uses a single set, but director Steve Buri keeps his actors on the move, as if it were a game of musical chairs. This visually stirs what otherwise could have been a static show.
During the opening weekend, the actors were still fine-tuning their comic delivery and timing, blunting a few jokes. Nonetheless, it’s a fun, frothy show. While a bit naughty, it ultimately leads to a sweet ending.