In “Sex With Strangers,” Anna Gunn, who played Bryan Cranston’s wife in “Breaking Bad,” couples with Billy Magnussen, who portrayed sexy, half-naked Spike in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Heralded for their previous performances, do they shine together in this new play by Laura Eason directed by David Schwimmer, which tells the story of a sex blogger who seeks out a novelist he idolizes?
Read the reviews.
Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater: One can be taken with “Sex With Strangers” – the wit of the dialogue, the charm of the characters, and the chemistry of the two performers – without ever considering what the playwright might be saying about the ways ambition and self-interest have come to replace love
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Elizabeth Vincentelli, New York Post: …polished and stylish. It also boasts superior casting…These two are so fun to watch, you don’t even mind that the writing doesn’t hit all that hard — Laura Eason’s play punches above its weight class….Smoothly directed by David Schwimmer, “Sex With Strangers” is a sometimes cutting, sometimes titillating tale with things to say about art and commerce
Charles Isherwood, New York Times: The simmering rapport these two talented actors develop quickly lights a fire under Ms. Eason’s drama of good sex and bad faith,
Matthew Murray, Talkin’ Broadway: …when it comes to explosive chemistry, these two actors have it in blessed abundance…across a series of scenes that chronicle a relationship full of ins and outs, ups and downs, comings and goings, and betrayals and forgiveness, Magnussen and Gunn have together crafted a single entity of such intoxicating, preternatural heat that you’ll scarcely be able to rip your eyes away…If only the play itself were compelling enough to justify any of it. Underlying the throbbing passions of the stars is a story choked with dust and indifference
Jesse Green, New York Magazine: You may detect a certain amount of sitcom in the setup — and in the direction, by David Schwimmer of Friends fame…But television savvy — Eason writes for House of Cards — can no longer be hurled as an insult onstage. Indeed, Sex With Strangers has a lot more on its mind than many a downtown gut-wrencher….it’s hot — or should I say cool? In any case, it’s only a slight criticism of Sex With Strangers to say that it’s great summer entertainment.
Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter: Terrific performances and snappy dialogue boost this entertaining and thoughtful dramedy.
Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly: B+ There is no reason that playwright Laura Eason’s frankly sitcommy premise should work. And yet it does, thanks to fluid direction by David Schwimmer (yes, that David Schwimmer) and charmingly forthright performances by the two-member cast….a muffed ending doesn’t dilute the overall success of Sex With Strangers, which boasts two lively, lusty, and fully lived-in characters.
David Finkle, Huffington Post: Gunn and Magnussen are so good at what they’re doing and have the sort of chemistry together that would shatter a rack of test tubes that ticket buyers may not object too loudly the predictability. Indeed, lithe and limber Gunn…and Magnussen…so assiduously keep on keeping on that spectators will likely continue overlooking the numerous soft spots in Eason’s plot.
Adam Feldman, Time Out New York: The actors strike sexy sparks: Gunn is warily intelligent and believably vulnerable, while Magnussen pops with dynamic energy (and raises shirtlessness to an art form)….you may get the most out of Sex with Strangers by leaving midway through and calling it a satisfying one-act stand.
Zachary Stewart, Theatermania: Under the deft direction of David Schwimmer, Sex With Strangers is a probing and painfully realistic look at first impressions, modern relationships, and the trust needed to bridge the gap between point A and point B…Gunn is sophisticated, vulnerable, and skittish. Magnussen is bold, childlike, and utterly charming. Both accomplish, in just over two hours, the difficult task of creating an archetypal character and then smashing our preconceived notions of that character.