In this day and age it’s hard to balance work and play, to find time for career and family, to appreciate history and progress.  And in an already challenging world, it’s nearly impossible to marry one’s love of erotica with one’s passion for live theatre.

Thankfully for you theaterotica-files out there, there’s Carnal Desire.

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Back in 2000, writer Mike Horowitz (using his nom de porn Phillip S. Wilson) wrote two scripts of softcore erotica for late night cable. One was produced for the “Kama Sutra” series – the other was rejected by “Lady Chatterly’s Stories.” We believe these are two of the most hilarious scripts ever put to paper – and they may be this generation’s finest works in the adult-rated-yet-not-quite-full-on-porn genre. 
 
Carnal Desire: The Collected Works of Phillip S. Wilson will bring these erotic and illustrious tales to life in a staged reading. On Monday night, in a one night only performance engagement, some of the city’s most talented actors will lend their voices to “On Means of Exciting Desire,” and its follow-up piece, “A Lesson In Seduction.”

 

 

Carnal Desire graces the stage at the Let Live Theatre at the Actor’s Company (916a N. Formosa Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90046) on Monday, July 13th at 8pm. Tickets are $5 suggested donation and there is ample free parking in the lot around the theatre.

 

The Frog caught up with author Mike Horowitz for an exclusive interview…

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Q: Everyone’s talking about Carnal Desire… what has the newfound media attention been like for you?

MH: I’m just really excited for the material to get its due. These scripts were written fifteen years ago, when I worked at Showtime. The “Kama Sutra” episode, “On Means of Exciting Desire,” was produced, but I’m not sure if the director or actors fully mined the material creatively. I wrote the “Lady Chatterly’s Stories” episode, “A Lesson in Seduction,” with my friend Mikki Gillette, and it was promptly rejected by the producers for being too crazy. No one’s ever seen it, so I’m excited to get it out there.

Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?

MH: The idea of my “Kama Sutra” episode was to do a meta version of a Skinemax episode, sort of like the Scream of this genre. It’s just a coincidence that “Scream” is coming out on television now. The “Lady Chatterly” episode was a reaction to the reaction to the “Kama Sutra” episode.

Q: Now this is just a staged reading. In an ideal world, who do you see in the leading role?

MH: Edwin Embarkadero, who may or may not be the lead character in both of these episodes, is an incredibly hard role to cast. He needs to be convincingly nerdy and socially awkward at the start of the first episode, but by the end of the second, he’s the exact opposite of that. I was thinking Leonardo DiCaprio or David Fickas.

Q: Whose work do you feel represents a similar tone or style to your own?

MH: While writing these episodes, I was standing on the shoulders of the revered writers of Skinemax. I forget their names, but they know who they are.

Q:  It goes without saying that the pieces in Carnal Desire are deeply powerful. What message do you hope your audience leaves with?

MH: The world has changed a lot since 2000. In some ways it’s better, in some ways, it’s worse. I think this is a time capsule for future generations.

Q: How will the detailed physicality come across in this staged reading version of these pieces?

MH: That’s always the problem with these types of readings… you’re limited to the imagination of the audience. I just hope that people bereft of imagination will just stay at home.

Q: What sort of training have the actors involved received?

MH: Suffice it to say, this cast is immeasurably better than the first bunch of actors to take on this piece. These are veterans of stage and screen – I’m sure they have the chops to bring this to life.

Q: Can you speak to the nomination buzz surrounding this piece?

MH: It’s really too early to talk about nominations and awards. I’m just trying to stay focused on the work.

Q: I know you were in talks to write the Fifty Shades screenplay, can you tell us what your interpretation might have included?

MH: I really can’t comment on that either way, but let’s just say that that movie needed a little Edwin Embarkadero.

Q: How should audience members prepare themselves before entering the theatre?

MH: Probably with alcohol.

Q: Is this a modern adaptation or will you be adhering strictly to the classical text?

MH: We’re sticking to the “classical text” of the early aughts, even if a couple of references are a little dated. I don’t want to George Lucas this thing up.

Q: Will refreshments be available at the theatre?

MH: Yes.

Q: What kind of refreshments?

MH: I think we’ll have wine and something non-alcoholic.

Q: How much will the refreshments be?

MH: I don’t know.

Q: Can I bring my own refreshments?

MH: I think so?

Q: What if I get extra hungry from all that Carnal Desire?

MH: That’s a definite possibility. We’re planning on getting drinks afterward at the Formosa Café.

Q: How much are tickets?

MH: The suggested donation is five dollars.

Q: If I brought in my own refreshments but you didn’t know about it because I hid them up my shirt sleeve and then waited until the show began to take them out and eat them very quietly, would that be okay?

MH: Please be very quiet.

Q: Should I go?

MH: If you care about art, yes. If you hate art, then maybe.

 

For all the pertinent deets, check out the Facebook invite HERE. Carnal Desire promises to be a night you’ll NEVER forget. Don’t be afraid to laugh, or cry, or stand up and cheer when all is said and done. After all, there’s nothing like achieving that big O at the end of a fantastic performance.

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