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'Venus In Fur,' The Playhouse's Sexy And Cerebral Show That's Not For The Kids

Siggi Ragnar
Venus in Fur poster

The Playhouse is about to begin a play that is raising a few eyebrows because of what the play is about.

"'Venus in Fur' is a play adaptation by David Ives of the novel published first in German in 1870 by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch," said John O’Neil, who directs the production.

But there’s no getting around it, the show is about sex.

"Sexy, erotic, sensuous, but not trashy, if that makes any sense," O’Neil said.

And while eros plays a real role here, there’s no nudity in the play. But O'Neil did say there is plenty of humor.

"I think it’s incredibly funny," he said. "So you have this modern comedy set within the confines of this 1870 very serious, very, almost melodramatic novel. I think the play asks has that much really changed in sexual politics or how we wield power in any two-person relationship."

It’s a play-within-a-play, wherein its two cast members play a total of six characters. O'Neil raves about his actors.

"I’m sorry if I can’t rave enough about Michael Holly and Kaycie Griffin," he said. "I fell in love with both of them at auditions and I love them even more now because they are two excellent actors who really get the essence." 

From his description, there’s a lot going on and a much of that isn’t so much physical as mental. And O’Neil’s throws in this tantalizing tidbit of info:

"And at the end of the play there is a victor…but I think I’ll withhold that."

That and Lou Reed’s connection to the play will only be revealed by going.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii