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Time Out Theater Review: 'Intimacy'

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Off-Broadway's New Group Theatre is presenting the world premiere of "Intimacy," a new work from playwright Thomas Bradshaw, who is known for provocative material. Time Out New York's David Cote filed the following report for NY1.

Given that NY1 is a family channel, I'm not quite sure how much of Thomas Bradshaw's sex comedy, "Intimacy," I can describe to you. Let’s just say that if it were on TV, it would be pay-per-view, and if it were in the multiplex, it would be NC-17.

Bradshaw's brand of comedy combines the equal-opportunity offensiveness of South Park and the adolescent voyeurism of Tosh.O. If you're easily shocked by realistic looking intercourse or genitalia, be warned.

"Intimacy" is a lightly satirical suburban comedy-drama about adults and teens in various stages of sexual liberation or repression. On the extreme end of freedom, you have Janet, played by the winsome Ella Dershowitz, who is an erotic film actress living with her parents next door to widower James and his teenage son, Matthew. They are played by Daniel Gerroll and Austin Cauldwell, respectively. Grief has driven James into born-again puritanism and compulsive masturbation, while Matthew is comparatively better adjusted. He believes his dead mother would want him to become a porn film director.

There's a Hispanic father who is secretly bisexual and a cancer-survivor daughter who's not as angelic as she seems. Are you outraged yet? If not, you might enjoy how Bradshaw spins out his surprisingly good-natured plot. His view of sex is anything but shocking: We should do what feels good, communicate with our partners and not let religion or labels fill us with guilt.

Despite his reputation as a provocateur, Bradshaw insists in interviews that he's not trying to provoke. Since "Intimacy" poses more challenges to the stage-cleaning crew than the average playgoer, I believe him.

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