Sex by Mae West
Prologue Theatre Co.

In the Chicago premiere of this sultry comedy, which prompted its author's arrest in 1926, hard-boiled woman of the night Margy LaMont looks for a way to climb to the top of her profession.

I staged this sly, bawdy comedy promenade style in a historical Chicago mansion: the North Lakeside Cultural Center. Audience members traveled from a rented room in the red-light district on Montreal to a night club in Trinidad to a Westchester estate with the help of environmental interaction with the actors.

Directed by Margo Gray

Performers: Jes BedwinekErin Renee BaumrukerChristopher ChambleeStephen KaiserRick LevineRebecca MauldinTinuade OyelowoDeRante ParkerNathan Pease,  Anne Sheridan Smith,  Bradford StevensReginald Vaughn, and Sean Patrick Ward

Scenic and Costume Designer: Carrie Hardin  
Lighting Designer: Steven E. Hill
Musical Directer: Jessica Gyori-Eisenberg 

Photos by Alix Klingenberg


"The cast inhabits the era like apparitions made flesh." --Urban Coaster review >>

"Sex is an enviable romp through the tantalizing underworld... This use of room changes was fantastic." -- Steadystyle Chicago >>

"This rarely revived 1926 comedy--about a hooker who tries to go straight after falling in love with a naive young businessman--is best remembered today because it earned its author-star, Mae West, eight celebrity-boosting days in the pokey for "corrupting the morals of youth." -- Chicago Reader >>

"...The star of this production is the venue. Generally, i’m not a fan of promenade staging, but Gray has used the sprawling Cultural Center effectively. Audience members get up and move around only a few times to signify a key scene change, and during the transitions, actors keep the momentum going by drunkenly singing in the hallway or flirting with you from the doorways." -- Chicago Theatre Addict >>

"Director Margo Gray has honed the cast to adhere to naturalism, as opposed to the heavily stylized acting of West’s era. It’s a choice that definitely scales the production to the more intimate setting of Gunder Mansion, as well as clarifying and updating the play for a modern audience." -- Chicago Theatre Blog >>