Entertaining Mr. Sloane Essay

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Brantley reviews a 1997 production of Orton's play, praising the staging for preserving the playwright's clever wordplay while also enhancing the theatrical experience with new sensorial touches.

It isn't what most people would think of as a sexually tantalizing smell: floral, fruity and unquestionably synthetic, it is as welcome to the nostrils as a vinyl handkerchief. But for the blowzy, middle-aged Kath, played to pulpy perfection by Ellen Parker in the new revival of Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr. Sloane, this aerosol room freshener is just what's needed for seducing a strapping lad with the smoothest skin she's ever seen.

Smell, thank goodness, is not a sense that's much exploited in the theater. But when Ms. Parker's strawberry spray wafts into the audience at the Classic Stage Company, it feels ingeniously apt, an aromatic equivalent of what you've been hearing on stage. Orton's characters do indeed seem to speak the...

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This section contains 891 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Entertaining Mr. Sloane Study Guide
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