Love, Sex, and the I.R.S.,” a CSUN student production, is a laugh-out-loud comedy that should not be missed by anyone.
Produced and directed by graduating theatre major Dimi Mavalski, the play is a great display of young CSUN acting talent, combined with the ingenious direction of Mavalski.
Mavalski, who had conceived the idea during the fall semester, said he decided to do something fun and entertaining in hopes of gaining attention from the average CSUN student, not just theatre majors.
“I was looking for something fun and eye-catching,” said Mavalski. “I felt that we needed a lighter side (of theatre).”
“Love, Sex, and the I.R.S.” fits that description well, being a play CSUN students can surely relate to in some way.
The story is about two roommates, Jon and Leslie, who try and fool the Internal Revenue Service into believing they have been married for 3 years in order to catch a tax break. Unfortunately for them, they are both guys, and when the I.R.S. decides to check up on them, they need a little make-up and a pretty dress to make their case.
And although there have been many renditions of the play, this cast has done an outstanding job, especially since the actors not only play their roles, but have successfully convinced themselves that they are the characters in the play.
Ray Jacobs is Leslie, a young man fooling around with his roommate’s girlfriend, Kate, played by Kimmie Agin. Meanwhile, Jon, played by Josh Stern, is too busy devising a scam to rip off the I.R.S. to even notice that Leslie and Kate have been fooling around behind his back.
Jacobs plays a nervous, fretful Leslie, afraid that Jon might find out and cause him serious harm. It is not surprising at all that Jon bullies Leslie into dressing like a woman to fool the tax man.
Floyd Spinner, superbly played by Ben Cox, is a funny character reminiscent of the typical I.R.S. agent people think of when they think of I.R.S. agents, and enjoyable to laugh at. Spinner is a pesky agent who shows up at the apartment of John and Leslie, and from the moment Spinner takes the stage, you know you’re in for plenty of good laughs. After watching him for a minute or two, it is hard to imagine him as anyone but Spinner.
Another great pest involved in the story is the drunkard landlord, Mr. Jansen, played by Dan Hodnett. This is another important character that plays a crucial role in maintaining the comedic air throughout the play. Hodnett makes a convincing effort as an intrusive and impudent building manager with nothing better to do than harass his young tenants.
Mavalski credited his cast for their creativity, and said that good things came out of their improvisations early in the rehearsal process.
He also credited the cast members for learning their lines before rehearsals began.
“Having a script in your hand is a crutch as an actor,” Mavalski said.
Although the production could not count on financial assistance, they managed to improvise with any available lighting, and stock props from the theatre department.
“Love, Sex, and the I.R.S.” is sure to make audiences laugh, as it is acted out by a young group of talented actors.
“If the audience has 50 percent of the fun we had, then we know we did our jobs,” Mavalski said.
The show opens April 13 at CSUN’s Little Theatre, and there will be five performances.