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January 27, 2010 > Theatre: Tax season goes lite at Broadway West

Theatre: Tax season goes lite at Broadway West

By Julie Grabowski

After the most wonderful time of the year comes the most dreaded: tax time. Broadway West offers a little pleasure amidst the pain with their season opener, "Love, Sex and the IRS" by William Van Zandt and Jane Milmore.

College buddies and roommates Jon and Leslie are unemployed musicians eking out an existence in 1970s Manhattan. In order to save money, Jon has been claiming Leslie as his wife on tax forms for the last four years. When an IRS inspector is sent to investigate, Jon convinces his friend to play housewife to save them from the dire repercussions of tax fraud. But the foolproof plan begins to crumble when a fiancˇe, girlfriend, beer-toting landlord, and unexpected mother arrive on the scene.

Directed by Jim Woodbury, "Love, Sex and the IRS" is a furiously energetic and comic escapade that leaves one feeling a bit exhausted at the end. The cast is firmly in control of the material and work well together, yet at times performances come off as contrived and over exuberant.

Brad Monk is clearly at the top of the group as Jon Trachtman, delivering his character with a natural engaging flow that is pitch perfect and carries the show. Ray Medved is a solid and enjoyable support as IRS man Floyd Spinner, and John Lawrence has a smooth and easy cool as suspicious landlord Mr. Jansen. Alex Hersler's Leslie is enthusiastic with undeniable presence, but tends to take it over the top. Sara Renee Morris and Barbara Van DeMeer hold their own in the action, but it is Jessica Robertson who plays the trump card, making a big impression with her small role as Leslie's frantic girlfriend Connie.

"Love, Sex and the IRS" is a fun tangle of love, deceit, and desperation that will make your own relationships and tax situation look better than you thought.

Tickets are $22 general admission and $17 for seniors, students, and TBA members. Performances held on January 28, February 4, and February 11 cost $15 for all attendees; while February 18 is bargain Thursday with every ticket only $10. Sundays and opening night are $22 for everyone. Shows begin at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with Sunday matinees at 1 p.m. on January 31, February 7 and February 14.

The January 31 and February 7 performances will begin with a continental brunch at 12:15 p.m. while the Valentine's Day show offers theme-based treats at intermission. All refreshments are included in the ticket price. For reservations or more information call (510) 683-9218, or visit online at

Love, Sex and the IRS
January 22 - February20
Thursday - Saturday
8 p.m.
1 p.m.
Broadway West Theatre Company
4000-B Bay Street, Fremont
(510) 683-9218

Tickets: $15-$22

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