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Sex as Betrayal

Spontaneous Productions draws Closer

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Visual Arts Collective, a newish gallery and performance space, is the new downtown home of local theater group Spontaneous Productions and the crew is quickly approaching opening night (Friday, May 12) of their second play of the season, Patrick Marber's Closer.

Closer is the story about deception, manipulation and betrayal as the relationships of two couples intersect when a man from one pair gets involved with the woman from the other. Emotional ruthlessness ensues. It's likely that Boise audiences are more familiar with the 2005 film version than the play that debuted in 1997, but they are very different in the feel and treatment of the material.

In fact, the company didn't want to do the play at first, based on how the group felt about the movie's negative focus. But after reading it, Mike Silva of Spontaneous Productions says they saw a brilliant, complex work. Though Closer focuses heavily on sex--particularly stressed by the movie--the play's use of sexuality in the plot is integral to understanding and connecting to its complicated, good-characters-making-bad-choices.

The play also allowed the company--which prizes creative freedom--to experiment with the particulars of the unique layout of VaC's space, too. "We are able in this new space to come up with some innovative staging," Silva say.

Closer is the second of the four plays in Spontaneous's 2006 season (its first at VaC). The first was Exonerated, an intense play about six real people convicted, sentenced to death and later exonerated. "I feel [Closer] is also very intense and compelling but on relationships," says Silva. "I feel very good about it."