The Naked Truth

At Left Edge Theatre
Runs in Santa Rosa through Sept. 30, 2018

Serena Elize Flores, Katie Kelley, Bonnie Jean Shelton, Heather Danielle, Anabel Pimentel, and Angela Squire. Photo by Eric Chazankin

Five women gather in a village hall somewhere in London, ostensibly to take a pole-dancing class, but really to kick-start their lives in one way or another. Playwright Dave Simpson is best known in the U.K. for his hit play Girls’ Night Out, described as a hen party meets The Full Monty, which features a bachelorette group going to a male strip club. In The Naked Truth, Simpson takes the hen party pole-dancing, with similar effect—lots of “girl talk,” raunchy dialogue about men, weight issues, marital woes, and sex. Left Edge has assembled an excellent cast, all of whom communicate their characters and the pole-dancing premise wonderfully, especially assuming that none of them were professional pole-dancers before this.

There’s Bev (Angela Squire), who tosses off randy jokes about sex and men, and glibly counters criticisms about her weight, but inside she’s lonely. Her young friend Faith (Anabel Pimentel) just wishes she could actually have a boyfriend. Trisha (Katie Kelley) has the perfect husband, but obsesses about making her body even more ideal, until she gets reproof from Sarah (Bonnie Jean Shelton), upscale matron who has had a partial mastectomy. Rita (Serena Elize Flores) hopes to launch a new career, and the class teacher, Gabby (Heather Danielle), strives to meet all their diverse needs and personalities while nursing wounds from her own past.

There’s no actual nakedness, and sometimes the truth proves elusive, but the jokes are plentiful, as are sight gags as the women struggle with “loving their pole.” …

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The Naked Truth