2011 REMOUNT "Jailbait": 'Sexual Perversity' Meets 'High School Musical' Sans the Tunes!

REMOUNT at Second Stage, 3408 N. Sheffield, January 13th thru February 27th

Profiles Theatre presents 

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JAILBAIT
At 4147 N. Broadway
Written by Deirdre O'Connor
Directed by Joe Jahraus
Thru October 17th 
Buy Tickets
Running Time:  Ninety minutes with no intermission

Reviewed by Katy Walsh

'When you are 15, everything fun is illegal.'  A nightclub pick-up is riddled with risks: STD, AIDs, 3-7... years in prison.  The 'F' to avoid in one night stands is 'felony.'  Profiles Theatre presents the Midwestern premiere of JAILBAIT by Deirdre O'Connor.  Two high school girls glam it up for a drastic older look.    Two thirtysomething guys are looking for a lusty hook up.  Cue the music, booze and condoms!  Tonight, somebody is getting laid... or, more accurately, statutory raped.  In an era when cougar conquests eliminate the age difference taboo, there are still laws to determine 'robbing the cradle' verses 'child molesting.'  JAILBAIT is 'Sexual Perversity in Chicago' meets 'High School Musical' sans the tunes.  It's the hilarious and awkward bar mating ritual with an extra layer of parental guidance suggested. 

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Deidre O'Connor has created four familiar and complex characters looking for love in all the wrong places.  Her dialogue is the perfect bar banter spiked for comedy under the direction of Joe Jahraus.   Jahraus takes two young things and two old...older things and shakes not stirs.  The concoction is not an extra dirty martini.  It's most definitely a Cosmo!  JAILBAIT isn't an internet child porn stalker trying to rendezvous with a young girl.    It's a 'whoops!  How old are you?' dude screwing an 'I don't feel 15' gal.  In the lead, Eric Burgher (Robert) and Rae Gray (Claire) generate all kinds of laughs and empathy in their initial clunky meeting.  They are equally uncomfortable with the scenario.  As lost souls, Burgher and Gray connect over a glass of liquid courage.  Later, their inevitable disconnect has its own touching twists.  In secondary parts, Shane Kenyon (Mark) and Zoe Levin (Emmy) are bitter Belushi-Perkins hysterical in this 'About Last Night' tribute.  Kenyon is a complete tool on arrival as he rips on his friend's nightclub attire.  Levin is pure snarky skank.  Once again, it's the flipside of their characters that provide vulnerable insight into their psyche and depth to their back story.  Levin, in particular, is very funny in a porcelain hugging scene.

JAILBAIT isn't an icky, creepy Lifetime TV predator movie.  It's a lighthearted romp with the stylings of a Shakespeare-esque mistaken identity farce.  This time, instead of social class or gender barriers, love-doesn't-conquer-all because of age.   Different time in history.  Different forbidden love.   Same doomed love affair.  JAILBAIT adds one more must-ask question to safe sex.  Right after 'do you have a condom?', continue with a 'how about a valid I.D.?'  Bartenders aren't the only ones that need to card hard to avoid jailtime! 

Production photo courtesy of Wayne Karl.

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