Kate Robin’s provocative new play Anon begins as a light romantic comedy 
and soon develops into something a good deal more weighty. Trip (Blayne 
Weaver) and Allison (Kit Pongetti) meet cute when animal psychologist Allison 
makes a house call at Trip’s apartment because his cat (named Cat) has 
been peeing in all the wrong places. She advises him to talk to Cat, confide in 
her, buy her more toys, keep her litter box tidy (with a metal scooper), and by 
all means give her a less generic name.  Her $200 fee paid, Allison accepts Trip’
s impulsive invitation to dine with him (Chinese take-out) and the evening 
ends with a bout of passionate lovemaking.

Not so on a later date, when Trip finds it hard to get…hard, despite how much 
he has grown to like, maybe even love Allison. He suggests that she might 
consider shaving “down there,” to just “a little fluff,” an idea which Allison 
doesn’t take to, as it reminds her of chemotherapy.  “I can see that you’re 
attractive,” insists Trip. “I’m just not sexually attracted to you.”  The problem, 
Allison soon discovers, may be related to Trip’s extensive stash of porn tapes 
and DVDs, a collection which includes many rarities and would net a bundle 
on EBay, though Trip balks at selling them.  Trip agrees with Allison that people 
should get married and be faithful.  “Porn just helps you to do that,” he 
explains to a skeptical Allison, who has decided that he is a sex addict in need 
of therapy.

What started as a Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks style romcom has turned serious, and 
gets even more so as we are introduced to Trip’s Italian Catholic mother 
Rochelle (Alison Martin) and his serial philanderer of a dad, Bert (Larry Joshua). 
Casual one-nighters have been supplanted by an affair with a 32-year-old 
computer student, and a distraught Rochelle tells him how much she preferred 
it when “there were many smells” instead of just one. Still, she is philosophical 
about all this, explaining that “the Pope knows you don’t get married to be 
happy, but to learn compassion.” Bert swears that “my soul has never loved 
another woman,” but when Rochelle finds him naked at the kitchen window 
masturbating to what he sees though it, this is the final straw for the wife of yet 
another sex addict.

Allison and Rochelle are not the only women with man problems. Throughout 
the play, one young woman after another enters with folding chair in hand, 
takes a seat downstage, and recounts her own story.  Becky used to think she 
had a nice body until her boyfriend couldn’t get an erection because, he 
claimed, her breasts were to small, leading to augmentation surgery. 
Gretchen, a former stripper, has had to set rules regarding her husband’s use 
of porn. Pamela, the wife of a pediatrician, found disturbing pictures 
(apparently of very underage girls) on her husband’s computer. Corinne is the 
wife of a flasher. And so on…

Anon is blessed with an abundance of fine performances.  The ingratiating 
Weaver is so much the adorable boy next door that his darker side comes as a 
shock. Both he and the delectable Pongetti (a fine actress with a comic flair) 
are TV/film stars in the making and have great chemistry together, whether 
flirting, fighting, or making love.  Martin gives a moving and deeply layered 
performance of a woman finally tired of years of mistreatment. When she 
discovers her husband at the kitchen window and cries out “Keep it out of my 
house!”, the effect is devastating.  Joshua is very good indeed as a man still 
deeply in love with his wife but who cannot control his urges, and deserves a 
medal of courage for exposing himself so nakedly (both physically and 
emotionally) and “rising to the occasion” in a way I venture few have ever 
done before in a legitimate play.

The roles of the women in Allison’s “group” are double cast. At the 
performance I attended, they were performed by ten excellent actresses: Emy 
Coligado, Sarah Jane Morris, Ginette Rhodes, Elizabeth Bennett, Andrea 
Grano, Tara Karsian, Mandy Siegfried, Jacqueline Wright, Nancy Bell, and Anna 
Simone Scott.  Standouts included Bennett, heartbreaking as the pedophile 
pediatrician’s wife; Karsian, channeling Camryn Manheim as the flasher’s wife; 
and Siegfried, who’s just plain lovely in her role.

Robin, an Emmy nominee for Six Feet Under, has created three dimensional 
characters and written insightful, sometimes funny, sometimes raw dialogue.  
(Trips’s “I find it hard to believe I could be a sex addict when the last thing I 
want to do is have sex with you,” is an example.)  Chris Fields is an actor’s 
director, and has elicited fine performances from his entire ensemble. Mina 
Kinukawa has done a great job of utilizing all of Stage 52’s huge triangular 
stage to depict Trip’s bedroom and kitchen, Allison’s living room, Rochelle and 
Bert’s kitchen, and a group therapy room.  Lisa D. Katz’s lighting subtly follows 
the characters as they move from room to room. Audrey Eisner has designed a 
slew of costumes including multiple stylish outfits for Trip and Allison, and 
character-perfect clothes for the ten women. Fionnegan Justus Murphy’s 
sound design is just fine.

All this would be perfect were there not an air of male-bashing about the 
entire piece.  Robin’s men are uniformly screwed up (a bunch of on and off 
stage sex addicts) and her women would pretty much have their acts 
together were it not for the men they’ve gotten involved with. For any gay 
man who’s felt that his life would be easier, or better, if he were straight, Anon 
is a must see. Other males in the audience may find themselves 
uncomfortable with Robin’s not terribly flattering depiction of them.

Still, the acting, directing, design, and quality of writing cannot be faulted.  
Anon is funny, raw, insightful, and involving entertainment, put together by a 
talented team. Once again, our “TV/film town” has proven itself a darned fine 
(and challenging) place for theatergoers.  With stardom-bound film actors like 
Weaver and Pongetti performing “live and in person” and a lauded TV scribe 
like Robin showing her playwriting chops, TV addicts would do well to turn off 
their sets for a night and attend a live production like Anon…for a stimulating 
change of pace.  

Stage 52, 5299 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles.
–Steven Stanley
October 21, 2007

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